Denver, CO, USA; Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez (27) hits a home run during the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
Carlos Gomez has disappointed for quite some time now. He stole 12 bases with the Mets back in 2007 as a 21-year-old with just 58 games and 139 plate appearances to do it, but also hit all of .232/.288/.304 in the process. The lines have fluctuated a bit here and there, but that's basically been his story: Gomez has stolen 114 bases in 630 games, but thanks to a sub-.300 on-base percentage, would have stolen far more had he been worthy of keeping in the lineup.
That's changed a bit in 2012, as Gomez has an OPS+ over the league-average for the first time in six seasons. He's still not walking -- it's likely safe to say that particular skill is never coming to him -- but he's had a power outburst that's helped to compensate for that. Gomez is hitting just .260, but has complemented his 21 steals with 11 homers and 29 extra-base hits overall through 284 plate appearances.
If you're in an on-base league, things can still be a bit ugly, as Gomez owns a .308 OBP thanks to another dismal walk rate. You can likely swing it in a batting average format, though, as .260 isn't good, but it's not horrific, and the current .213 Isolated Power helps to make up for it. It's very likely Gomez will swipe 30 bags and hit 15 homers, not bad work even over a full season, never mind for someone who plays in just two-thirds of the games.
It's not that Gomez is someone you need to rush out to grab in every format or anything. But he's been playing often and well as of late, and is still owned in just 34 percent of leagues. In the last 28 days, Gomez has ranked #9 overall in standard mixed formats thanks to a .298/.347/.574 line with six homers and nine steals. You won't get that every month, but if he can settle in as a useful outfield piece in deep leagues, then he's doing his job for you. And that's something he hasn't been able to say before in his career.
Gomez showed some power last year with a .177 ISO, so this isn't entirely unprecedented. He's also all of 27 years old, so some peak power is another thing that isn't surprising. It's hard to believe in someone who has been as routinely bad as Gomez because of a few productive months, but with his speed, and some power, if this is real, he won't be around very long for you to consider him. Stash now if you can, play him if you have to, and hope that he helps you edge ahead in the standings over the season's last eight weeks.