I admit my feelings toward Carlos Gomez on this blog have been similar to a seventh grade crush, so I decided to look deeper into the numbers to either justify my infatuation or come to that harsh reality that she doesn't even know who I am.
Since Opening Day, I've fallen for Gomez and his electrifying speed. He has nine stolen bases in 10 attempts with his only caught stealing coming on a pickoff at first base. No catcher has been able to neutralize the kid's speed.
Go-go is currently on pace to steal 95 bases, which would shatter the Twins' record of 62, set by Chuck Knoblauch in 1997.
The most amazing part of Gomez's stolen base count is his poor .284 on-base percentage. The kid is only getting on base a quarter of the time and leads the majors with nine steals.
With Gomez it's not a matter of whether he can take second or third, but if he can get to first. Assuming Carlos can develop a better eye at the plate and raise his AVG. and OBP., 100 steals is certainly attainable.
At this point in the year, the strikeout to walk ratio is expected from the young hitter. Carlos has taken two walks and struck out 16 times—certainly not what you want to see, but coming over from the Mets it was known Gomez was a free swinger and needed to work on his plate discipline.
He was rushed through New York's system and now is in a situation where he needs to play in the big leagues everyday. Hopefully with time hitting coach Joe Vavra and the Twins organization can fine tune Gomez's at-bats.
On a positive note, I've been over-impressed with Gomez's defensive ability. The kid makes a lot of plays. He is obviously no Torii Hunter with his reads on the ball and the direction he takes to make the catch, but his speed makes up for many "rookie mistakes" and his defense will only continue to get better.
With Denard Span playing out of position in right field this week, Gomez has adequately been covering more than his third of the field.
It remains to be seen whether or not Go-go will actually steal 90 bases. At his current clip of getting on base 25 percent of the time, I want to say it won't happen. But perhaps speed does kill and Gomez will continue to impress us.
As each week of the season moves on we'll continue to learn more about the centerpiece of the Johan Santana trade. For now I'm going to remain a wallflower and keep my crush.
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