Center fielder Carlos Gomez enjoyed a huge breakout season for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2013 (.284/.338/.506, 7.6 fWAR). He finally made the transition from intriguing talent to elite Major League outfielder, something that seemingly happened overnight once his offense caught up with his defense.
Now that the Brewers have Ryan Braun back in their outfield, they face a decision with Gomez. Should they try to slot him into the middle of the lineup to drive in runs? Or put him at the top of the order so as to maximize his at-bats so that he can wreak havoc with his speed?
Gomez’s numbers indicate a guy who would be up to either role. Last year he had 24 home runs and drove in 73. He also stole 40 stolen bases. Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the team has made a decision and that they will use Gomez at the top of their order.
After talking and tinkering all spring, the Brewers have settled on center fielder Carlos Gomez as their new leadoff hitter.
Manager Ron Roenicke had been mulling different options since the Brewers traded Norichika Aoki to the Royals in December. Aoki was a prototypical pick for that spot, a pesky left-handed batter who worked counts and got on base. Gomez is different, an aggressive right-handed batter with power.”
Aggressive, yes, but Gomez is coming off as season with a career-high .338 OBP. If that number improves slightly the Brewers will have a truly elite offensive player. With Gomez in the lead-off spot, the Brewers will get him as many at-bats as possible to maximize that potential.