Every year the San Francisco Giants pull someone out of their farm system who hasn’t received much press and receive a good performance in return, or so it seems anyway. This year it looks like infielder Miguel Gomez can follow that pattern. He was on few prospect lists pre-season but has a good performance record and a new spot on the Giants roster, promoted to the majors on July 7th. Let’s take a look.
The Giants signed Gomez out of the Dominican Republic in 2011 for $200,000. Scouts liked his bat but were not sure where he would fit with the glove. After spending three seasons in the Dominican Summer League he moved up to the Northwest League in 2015 and hit .319/.333/.442.
In 2016 he was excellent in Low-A (.371/.402/.532 in 267 at-bats) and solid in High-A (.267/.302/.500 in 172 at-bats) but received little notice. He was a bit old to be just establishing himself in full-season ball and questions about his defense kept his buzz to a minimum. Pre-season, I rated Gomez as a Grade C prospect and did not rank him among the Top 20 San Francisco Giants prospects for 2017.
Right now that looks like a big mistake.
Gomez has continued to hit, up to .305/.330/.458 this season in Double-A before his promotion to the majors, with 19 doubles and eight homers in 308 at-bats.
Listed at 5-10, 190, Gomez is a switch-hitter and right-handed thrower born December 17th, 1992. We’ll talk about the defense first since that’s the biggest problem. He came into pro ball as a catcher but that didn’t last long and he’s since been tried at first base, second base, and third base. He has a decent arm but lacks the quickness or soft hands to impress at any of the infield positions; even first base is a stretch given his short stature.
What he does do is hit. Gomez features plenty of bat speed and a mechanically-sound swing. He’s a fairly aggressive hitter and doesn’t draw large numbers of walks, but he makes hard contact on both fastballs and breaking pitches and has consistently hit for high averages with moderate power.
The bat makes him a very intriguing sleeper, but where do you play him?
In the old days when teams carried just nine or ten pitchers, Gomez could make a good living as a DH and pinch-hitter. Those jobs are harder to find now in the era of huge pitching staffs that put a premium on defensive flexibility.
All that said, if you can hit, someone will eventually find a place for you. And Miguel Gomez can hit.