by Andrew Gould
Six years into his major league debut, Carlos Gomez finally looks the part of a viable fantasy option. The speedy outfielder has broken free from platoon purgatory in Milwaukee and made the most of regular playing time.
In 91 games, Gomez is hitting .260/.308/.473 with 11 home runs and 21 stolen bases. In the past 30 days Gomez is hitting .309 with six homers, 10 steals, 14 RBI and 22 runs. Despite tearing up the league lately, the outfielder remains available in 70 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Are owners right to be skeptical of Gomez, or is he emerging into a prolific rotisserie league option?
Nobody ever doubted his speed. When Gomez first arrived with the Mets most scouts said that he could outrun Jose Reyes. It’s just a matter of getting on base, which has never come easily to the 26-year-old. His career .293 on-base percentage limited his value on the base paths and often relegated him to the bench.
Sadly, his current .308 stands to be a career best and the first time Gomez eclipses the .300 mark. Oddly enough, the undisciplined hitter has improved by flaunting even less patience at the plate. His walk rate has decreased to 4.9 percent, but he is striking out less at a 20.8 percent clip, which is still poor.
The most eye-popping of Gomez’ numbers stems from the spike in power. His 11 home runs already represent the highest total of his career, and the .473 slugging percentage is a massive improvement from his past.
Before writing off the power spark, consider that he swung for the fences last season with some success. The higher power rates from 2011 perceived as outliers now look like a change in approach from Gomez. He jumped his HR/FB percentage 4.3 points to 11.4 in 2011, but anyone expecting that number to drop instead saw the number soar upwards to 12.8 this season.
His fly-ball rate has risen as well, so the home runs aren’t just a complete fluke. Previously producing fly balls in the mid-high 30s for the first four years of his career, Gomez catapulted the number to 43.8 percent last year and 44.3 percent this season.
His ISO also continues to trend upwards throughout his six-year career:
- 2007 – .072
- 2008 – .102
- 2009 – .108
- 2010 – .110
- 2011 – .177
- 2012 – .213
This could just be a case of a young player expanding his repertoire and developing into a solid contributor.
Gomez’ worth depends entirely on your league. If OBP or strikeouts are implemented in your league’s scoring, Gomez value certainly takes a hit. Now that Gomez worked his way into the Brewers’ starting lineup with power, he is a usable asset in standard fantasy leagues.
At this point, he is essentially Drew Stubbs or B.J. Upton—who are rostered in the majority of leagues. He’ll go through some rough patches, but the premium speed combined with some pop makes him an intriguing fantasy play.