Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
In 2013, Carlos Gomez reached 500 AB’s for only the second time in his career, the first time since 2008 when he was with the Minnesota Twins. He made his at-bats count last season as he easily out produced his projections on his way to career marks in every major offensive statistical category.
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Those numbers made him a Top-25 overall player and a Top-5 outfielder in some formats.
A lot of people are expecting Gomez to take a step back in 2014, as the law of averages indicates his numbers will come back to his career norms (.255/.303/.406). Brad Johnson of Fangraphs even suggests that Gomez may not see the quality of pitches he saw last year which could contribute to some likely regression in his numbers this year.But even if Gomez’s AVG sinks back down around the .270 mark, there are still many reasons to like him and not be overwhelmed with “buying high guilt”.
Gomez put up great numbers with the Brewers last year when his top two slugging teammates, Aramis Ramirez and Ryan Braun, missed significant playing time. With those two back in the mix added with the likes of Jonathan Lucroy, Jean Segura, and Khris Davis, the Brewers have a solid offensive recipe that will allow Gomez to still see quality pitches, and put up solid numbers. Even with the probable decline in batting average, you might even see growth in runs and while the projections below don’t indicate it, RBI’s.
The underlying beauty of having Milwaukee Brewers on your fantasy team is twofold. Their manager, Ron Roenicke loves to be aggressive on the base paths. In each of the past two seasons, the Brewers have finished second in the majors in stolen base attempts. That aggressive managing will continue to reward Gomez owners.
In addition to the bountiful SB’s to be found in the Good Land, we all know by now that the ball flies out of Miller Park. I honestly believe one day it will be revealed that the numbers painted on the fence in Milwaukee are not measure in feet, but in sausage links. If Gomez gets to the plate 600 times in 2014, 20 HR’s is a lock.
In the end, I would rank Gomez in that 11-15 range for OF’s. If you rank him outside the Top-15, my guess is you are betting on younger guys to break out. I think you are better off going with a guy that has all ready been there, done that, and at worst, will come close to that again in 2014.
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