Carlos Gomez is finally becoming the big-time player many thought he was destined to become years ago.
That's right...the same Carlos Gomez who tantalized Milwaukee Brewers coaches, players and fans with his potential the previous two years is finally having his breakthrough.
Gomez began this season as a candidate for trade and was looking at very little playing time in a crowded Brewers outfield. It looked like the Brewers were finally going to give up on the Gomez experiment.
After all, this is his sixth year in the majors despite being only 26 years old.
The one-time hyped prospect and youngest player in the majors had not put together a productive season in five tries, but kept showing that he has power in his bat, unbelievable speed in his legs and Gold Glove-caliber defensive prowess.
Turns out, sixth time's a charm.
Gomez has benefited from two things: The injury to Mat Gamel that sent Corey Hart from right field to first base, and the major drop-off in production from Nyjer Morgan.
Gomez is getting more and more starts as the season goes on, and he's making the most out of those starts.
His stats as of Aug. 28 are as follows: 300 AB, .257 BA, .470 SLG, 14 HR, 38 RBI, 27 SB.
As I'm typing this, Gomez just got off of a four-hit, three-run night in which he stole a base and hit a home run. It was the second consecutive night he hit a home run, and he has three stolen bases in those games as well.
Just to be clear, that's a career high in homers (previous high was eight in 2011), and it is his best season of his career. If he had been playing full time, he could have 20 homers, 60-70 RBI and 40-plus stolen bases at this point in the season.
Let's take a look at his career averages relative to his current season above: 305.7 AB, .244 BA, .372 SLG, 6.3 HR, 30.7 RBI, 19.8 SB.
The season isn't even completed and he's already well above most of those numbers.
Gomez has always been such a frustrating guy. I've said in many of my articles that he has the power in his bat and the speed and aptitude on the bases to be a 30/30 player if he could just finally hone the raw talent.
It looks like he's finally getting a handle on it.
Call it a hot bat, call it luck, call it whatever you want, Carlos Gomez is having the best season of his career, and he's done it almost entirely as a backup.
But no more...Gomez has earned a starting position in the Brewers outfield, and his defensive prowess has always made him a valuable asset in center. If he becomes the everyday starter there in the future, a Gold Glove might not be too far off in the distance.
Now he has the bat to go along with it.
Here's to hoping Gomez keeps this up. I've wanted so badly for him to make it in the big leagues. He's one of the hardest workers on this team, and he gives it 100 percent whenever he's on the field—almost to a fault at times.
Maybe he's finally turned the corner. Maybe he just needed some more time in the minors to get to where he is now, but he never got that.
He had to learn the hard way in the bigs, but I think it might just be Gomez's coming-out party this season.