Carlos Gomez had a three-month stretch to end 2012 where he wasn’t just worthy of starting for your fantasy team, he was one of the best 25 players in the game.
After the All-Star Break last year, Gomez batted .278 with 46 R, 14 HR, 33 RBI, and 26 SB in 274 plate appearances. To put that in perspective, had Gomez played like that all year he would have scored 90 runs with 30 homers, 70 RBI, and 50 stolen bases.
Batting average aside, Mike Trout and Ryan Braun are the only other players who totaled even 90 R, 30 HR, 70 RBI, and 30 SB (Jimmy Rollins and B.J. Upton were close behind).
And that’s the kind of company Gomez keeps when he’s streaking like he did at the end of last year. It’s probably foolish to mention him in the same sentence as Trout and Braun, but Rollins and Upton? It’s surprising, but entirely reasonable.
At a Glance
Strengths: SB, net SB, CS
Neutral: R, HR, RBI, BA, SLG, OBP
Best-case scenario: B.J. Upton (ATL)
Likely scenario: Drew Stubbs (CLE), Michael Saunders (SEA), Danny Espinosa (WAS)
Worst-case scenario: Will Venable (SD)
Carlos Gomez 2013 Fantasy Projection
OK, so Gomez isn’t as good as his second half last year, but how good is he? Gomez still strikes out a lot, over 20% of the time, and he doesn’t walk much. Both of those hurt his batting average so his .278 second-half mark is about the best we can hope for, and he’ll probably settle in somewhere in the .250-.270 range. But Gomez’s fantasy value comes down completely to his homer and steals totals.
It feels wrong projecting him for 29 measly steals, just three more than he had in the second half of 2012 alone, but with a player as boom/bust as Gomez it’s better to err on the side of caution. If you think he’ll continue to run wild and crush homers with an 18% HR/FB rate, then be bullish and project him for 25 HR and 40 SB. I wouldn’t exactly feel comfortable with that, but you could make a strong argument in favor of those numbers.
As for odd(er) fantasy formats, Gomez takes a hit in OBP leagues but gets a big boost in leagues that count net stolen bases or caught stealing. Last year he was 37-for-43 in steal attempts (86.0%), and for his career he’s 130-for-162 (80.2%). Only Shane Victorino (39-for-45), Coco Crisp (39-for-42), Everth Cabrera (44-for-48), and Trout (46-for-54) stole as many bases as Gomez with a batter success rate in 2012.