Hitter of the Week
2019 Season: 31 G, 114 AB, .272/.331/.482, 31 H, 9 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 8 BB, 28 K, 5/10 SB, .313 BABIP
Week: 5 G, 19 AB, .421/.500/1.000, 8 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 2 BB, 5 K, 0/1 SB, .455 BABIP
Carlos Gomez was born in Santiago, Dominican Republic and signed with the Mets as an international rookie in July 2002 for $20,000. Prior to signing with the Mets, he helped support his family by doing carpentry work as a teen, specializing in making coffins.
In 2004, he finally made his stateside professional debut, hitting a combined .281/.324/.407 for the GCL Mets and the Kingsport Mets. He played for the Hagerstown Suns- the Mets’ Low-A affiliate at the time- in 2005 and hit a solid .275/.331/.376 in 120 games. He impressed the Mets with his performance and maturity, and they skipped him over High-A, sending him to Binghamton in 2006. He started the season slow, partially due to a back injury and partially because he was a 20-year-old in Double-A, but he eventually got on track- especially when the team adjusted his hitting mechanics and quieted his top half- and hit .281/.350/.423 for the year.
He was a consensus top prospect 100 in baseball, generally ranked between 25 and 50 by the major prospect sources at the time. In the Mets’ farm system, he was considered the Mets’ third best prospect, after Fernando Martinez and Mike Pelfrey. He was viewed as a five-tool player, with plus-plus speed. He made his major league debut on May 13th, 2007 at the tender age of 21 and hit .232/.288/.304 in 58 games with the Mets.
Gomez clearly wasn’t ready to face major league pitching, but he wouldn’t get another chance to prove his mettle with the Mets, as he was packaged along with Deolis Guerra, Phil Humber and Kevin Mulvey to the Minnesota Twins for Johan Santana. He didn’t perform well in Minnesota either, hitting .248/.293/.352 over two seasons, and was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for JJ Hardy in November 2009. He continued struggling in his first few of years with the Brewers, but in 2012 everything finally clicked. In his first three years in Milwaukee, Gomez hit .248/.296/.415, and in his last three, he was a two-time All-Star and hit .276/.338/.468. He was almost traded to the Mets in 2015 at the trade deadline, but the trade fell through as the Mets had concerns about the results of his medical. He was instead traded, along with Mike Fiers, to the Houston Astros in exchange for Josh Hader, Adrian Houser, Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana. The non-trade would prove to be a blessing in disguise as Yoenis Cespedes was spectacular down the stretch and Gomez struggled. He spent a season and a half in Houston and hit .221/.277/.342, getting released at the beginning of August. He signed with the Texas Rangers not long after, and re-signed with them for the 2017 season. He had something of a mini resurgence there, hitting .262/.345/.481 in 138 games, but when he signed with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018, he faded once again, hitting .208/.298/.336 in 118 games.
Keon Broxton is currently .152/.220/.174 in 46 at-bats. He has a reputation of being a good fielder, but the time he’s spent in the field so far has been so limited that even if he has been so far, it’s not like it’s making a major difference. The Mets really didn’t trade too much for him- Bobby Wahl, Adam Hill, and Felix Valerio, with Wahl having the most upside of the group as possibly a late inning reliever- but Broxton is bringing nothing to the table. There’s no way of knowing if Gomez will be better, but Broxton has been such a black hole, it’s worth changing things up. At worst, you’re rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, but maybe Gomez has a third life here. He’s hitting well in Triple-A, he’s hitting for power, he’s running a bit, his strikeout rate is within career norms, and he is walking a fair amount to counter those strikeouts. I don’t know how much more he has in the tank, probably not much, but he can’t be worse than Broxton.
Pitcher of the Week
2019 Season: 5 G (4 GS), 25.0 IP, 16 H, 8 R, 8 ER (2.88 ERA), 6 BB, 30 K, .218 BABIP
Week: 1 G (1 GS), 6.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER (0.00 ERA), 2 BB, 6 K
This is the second time that Harol has been player of the week, the first player this season to repeat. His stats were better than any other pitcher that threw this week, but in addition to that, he was also part of the no-hitter that Binghamton threw this week. He tossed six and two thirds innings against the Harrisburg Senators and then Ryder Ryan came in and finished things up with two and a third innings. It was the first no-hitter in Binghamton Rumble Ponies franchise history, and the first no-hitter in Binghamton history since July 23rd, 2006, when Miguel Pinago threw one against the Portland Sea Dogs in a seven-inning double-header.
The Rumble Pony no-hitter was the fifth one in the Eastern League just this year. The first this year was on April 6th, when Harrisburg Senators pitchers Eric Fedde, Jordan Mills, and Aaron Barrett threw a combined no-no against the Bowie Baysox. The next one came on April 24th, when Erie Seawolves pitchers Alex Faedo and Drew Carlton threw one against those same Bowie Baysox. Literally the next day, Kyle Hart, Daniel McGrath, and Adam Lau on the Portland SeaDogs threw one against the Rumble Ponies. On the 29th, Casey Mize threw one himself against the Altoona Curve.
The last time the Eastern League had five no-hitters was back in 2003, when there were five spaced out over the entire season. The record is seven, from 1967. No hitters are such a fluky thing, so there is no way of predicting that there will be another one this season, but with three and a half months left in the 2019 season, there’s definitely enough time for another team to throw one. In addition, the trends have been skewing to favor pitching this season. So far in 2019, the league average batting line is .234/.315/.358, and the league ERA is 3.58. In 2018, the league average batting line was .253/.327/.389 and the league ERA was 4.01. In 2017, the league average batting line was .259/.330/.397 and the league average ERA 4.03. In 2016, the average batting line was .257/.320/.373 and the league average ERA 3.95. You have to go back to 2015 to get to a point where pitching was as dominant as it is now. That year, the league average batting line was .256/.319/.372, and the league average ERA was 3.67.
Past Players of the Week
Week One (April 4-April 13): Travis Taijeron/Chris Flexen
Week Two (April 14-April 20): Ronny Mauricio/Harol Gonzalez
Week Three (April 21-April 27): Danny Espinosa/Anthony Kay
Week Four (April 28-May 4): Will Toffey/Tommy Wilson