by Ray Kuhn
Opportunity… Who knows exactly what Tampa Bay is doing, other than frustrating their fans, tanking and attempting to save money, but they still have to put a lineup on the field each day. That means there are ten players with some degree of fantasy value (their lineup + their starting pitcher).
Perhaps the best example of this is the Rays’ newest addition, Carlos Gomez. After the questionable decision to send Corey Dickerson and Steven Souza packing, the Rays added Gomez who is slated to have a key role in 2018.
The current iteration and projection for Tampa Bay’s lineup has Gomez batting cleanup. That should mean plenty of RBI opportunities for the outfielder who has struggled over the past few seasons. Despite those rough times, he has generally been a solid player and has the potential to produce big numbers once again.
Currently, per his ADP in the NFBC, he isn’t even a starting outfielder and that represents a buying opportunity. At the moment Gomez is the 90th outfielder going off the board with an ADP of 351. We do have to keep in mind that until a few days ago hedidn’t have a job for the 2018 season. In fact Gomez signing with Tampa Bay was one of the best possible scenarios for his fantasy value.
So, what can we expect from a fantasy perspective?
At this point he isn’t going to hit much more than .250, he hit .255 last season, but as your fifth outfielder you can do worse. Over the past few seasons Gomez has struggled to make contact (66% in 2016 and 65% in 2017), which helps to limit his batting average potential. This has also led to a spike in his strikeouts, 29.8% last season compared to a career mark of 23.9%, while he has kept a consistent 7% walk rate.
Gomez still has above average power and also brings some speed to the table. He isn’t the player he once was, but over the past three seasons he has averaged 14 home runs and 16 stolen bases. That is a nice skill set to add to your team late in drafts.
We can’t discuss Gomez without dealing with his health issues. Over the past three seasons he has had trouble staying on the field and is averaging 405 AB per year (his price on draft day certainly reflects that). Plus when he is inevitably sidelined,you will be getting production from another player while adding a 15/15 player to your lineup when he returns.
Don’t go crazy reaching for Gomez, but with his new role in the middle of Tampa Bay’s lineup there is value to be had.
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|Starting Pitchers||1-20: 03/24/18|