Scouting Mets' Prospect #46: Jose Gomez

The New York Mets signed minor league free-agent Jose Gomez after missing all of 2003 after arm surgery and was assigned to Kingsport in 2004. Gomez is a minor league free agent again this offseason and the Mets may look to bring back Gomez again in '05 after a very good debut in the Mets system this past year. Here's a scouting report on Jose Gomez.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Jose Gomez
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: May 16, 1981
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 240
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Jose Gomez was originally signed by the Reds out of the Dominican Republic, spending three seasons in the Dominican Summer League. After two successful seasons playing for the Reds in the Gulf Coast League and rookie Pioneer League, Gomez underwent successful Tommy John surgery in the fall of 2002. After missing all of the 2003 with the same injury, Gomez was signed as a minor league free agent by the Mets last winter.

Gomez was sent to the Kingsport Mets of the Appalachian League after Extended Spring Training with the Mets in 2004 . Gomez made eight appearances (two starts) for Kingsport and showed some glimpses of brilliance in his short time in Kingsport, including a four-inning relief appearance where he struck out ten batters. It was because of his advanced age and bouts of exceptional pitching that he was sent to Capital City to finish out the 2004 season. Once again, Gomez was very solid in eleven relief appearances for the Bombers.

There is hope that Gomez has more life in his arm and that he is not fully recovered yet from his surgery two years ago. He could possibly even improve on an already plus fastball. Gomez is a minor league free agent this offseason and it remains to be seen if he'll be back in the Mets organization in 2005.

Year

Team

W-L

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2004

Capital City

3-1

17.0

8

12

23

3.18

2004

Kingsport

0-2

16.2

14

9

25

4.86


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Repertoire. Fastball, Slider, Changeup.

Fastball. Gomez has a fastball that he's able to throw at different speeds, ranging between 89-96 MPH but consistently brings it 93-94 MPH. He has a two-seam fastball that has some late sinking action.

Other Pitches. Gomez throws a swerving slider that is clocked between 83-87 MPH and a circle change-up that sits around 84-86 MPH which just drops and runs a bit.

Pitching. Gomez has had a problem with control up until this point. He gets behind pitchers a little too often and when he does, he grooves a fastball that the hitters are expecting. He misses his release points somewhat regularly which is the main reason for his control problems. Gomez throw's the ball from a 10 o'clock angle and hides the ball really well that keeps hitters guessing. He has an idea on the mound and with a little more consistency, he has the chance to be a real good pitcher.

Projection. Gomez has been used primarily as a reliever in his time with the Mets but that could be more of result of building up arm strength after his Tommy John surgery. With his fastball, Gomez has the chance to be a very good setup man down the road or a back-end of the rotation type starter if he resumes starting. We think he'll wind up being a starter.

ETA. N/A. Gomez, at 23 years old, has seven seasons of professional baseball under his belt (three in the Dominican Summer League) and is a minor league free agent this year. Most teams are not going to break the bank to sign Gomez so there's a good shot he'll be back with the Mets in 2005. If he is, he may be challenged in St. Lucie and then would be about two years away from helping the Big League ball club.

Starting Pitchers

2004 Team

Aaron Heilman

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Bob Keppel

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Neal Musser AA - Binghamton Mets
Brian Bannister AA - Binghamton Mets
Yusmeiro Petit AA - Binghamton Mets
Miguel Pinanago A - St. Lucie Mets
Kevin Deaton A - St. Lucie Mets
Matthew Lindstrom A - Capital City Bombers
Vincent Cordova A - Capital City Bombers
Greg Ramirez A - Capital City Bombers
Evan MacLane A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Scott Hyde A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Michael Devaney A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Joseph Williams A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Mike Swindell A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Gaby Hernandez R - GCL Mets


Comments

The Mets have some good pitching prospects and the system's depth is only going to get better with the additions of Alay Soler, Matt Durkin, and Philip Humber. Considering they have not pitched a professional inning in the Mets system as of yet, we'll focus on the pitchers that have. Among the Mets' pitching prospects, Yusmeiro Petit and Gaby Hernandez seem to have the highest ceilings simply because of their age and talent. However, the Mets do have a number of other good pitching prospects that still have time on their side to make their mark. The following starting pitchers are currently in our Tier One group...the top starting pitching prospects in the Mets system.

1) Aaron Heilman - Heilman struggled out of the gate in 2004 but was perhaps the hottest pitcher in the entire Mets' system the second half of the year. All Heilman needs is a chance. Give the guy 30 starts and see what he can do. But that day may never come with the Mets as he appears to be in New York's doghouse. It's a shame too. He's a better pitcher than people think.

2) Bob Keppel - Like Heilman, Keppel struggled mightily to begin the 2004 campaign but finished the year strong. Keppel's always had the repertoire and pitching ability to become a Major League starter. The question has been his strikeout rate. Still only 22 years old and seems forgotten.

3) Neal Musser - With the trade of Scott Kazmir, Musser becomes the Mets' best left-handed starting pitching prospect. A top prospect a couple of years ago, Musser was beset with injuries and had a bounce back year in 2004. Musser is still only 24 years old and should not be forgotten.

4) Brian Bannister - His stats do not accurately portray how good a pitcher he is. Bannister has four plus pitches in his repertoire and has the chance to be a front-line starter someday. Remember, Bannister has only been pitching for 4 seasons...two in college, two in the pros. So as good as he is, he is still learning which is a scary thought.

5) Yusmeiro Petit - The Mets #1 pitching prospect the minute the Mets traded Kazmir. Forget about the pundits and all their talk about lack of "stuff". Petit knows how to pitch at such a young age (19). Drawing comparisons to Greg Maddux, Petit has the ability to change speeds on his fastball and is very deceptive on the mound. Bottom line is he's been baffling hitters from the word go.

6) Miguel Pinango - Pinango was cruising through the Mets system until an injury in St. Lucie ended his season in 2004 after just three starts. Pinango's command is superb. Only Petit's command is perhaps better and even that's not a lock. Still only 21 years old (he'll be 22 by the start of next season), Pinango is still a very good pitching prospect for the Mets.

7) Kevin Deaton - Growing up as an offensive lineman, Deaton is an imposing figure on the mound. Like Pinango, Deaton's rise through the system hit a speed bump in 2004 when he was plagued by injury (tendonitis). His fastball tops off at 94 MPH with solid movement and is still only 23 years old.

8) Matthew Lindstrom - Nobody throws as hard as Lindstrom does in the Mets' organization...nobody! Lindstrom is a fascinating talent that is getting a chance to showcase his stuff in the Arizona Fall League this year. With a fastball that regularly sits in the 94-96 MPH range, he can top it off at 100 MPH at times. Used primarily as a starter up to this point, his future seems to be in the bullpen...possibly as a closer.

9) Vincent Cordova - Cordova has the talent to be a very good pitching prospect for the Mets. Drafted out of college in 2003, Cordova needs to prove he can get hitters out at the higher level. Like Pinango and Petit, Cordova's success is predicated on his control. He's a Tier One prospect for now but time is not on his side.

10) Greg Ramirez - Used as both a starter and a relieve in his short career thus far, Ramirez is like Cordova. He has the talent and the stuff to be a Tier One pitching prospect for the Mets, but like Cordova, he's going to have to prove it at the higher levels to remain in this group. It's unclear how he will be used in the future.

11) Evan MacLane - MacLane gives the Mets' pitching in their farm system they seriously lack: quality left-handed pitching among their starting pitching prospects. MacLane was dominating South Atlantic League hitters in 2004 before being sent to Brooklyn where he had the same success. MacLane should be challenged in 2005 and will most likely be part of the St. Lucie staff. Like Ramirez, Cordova, Petit, and Pinango, MacLane is all about the control. He has great command of his pitches.

12) Scott Hyde - Hyde was not scheduled to pitch in live games this past season after being drafted but still managed to showcase some good pitching in his stint with the Cyclones. Hyde has the chance to be the "sleeper" among the Mets' 2004 draft picks.

13) Michael Devaney - Among the NY-Penn League leaders in ERA, Devaney is very solid. As is the case with most of the Cyclones' rotation, he'll have to duplicate the same success at the higher levels to remain in the Tier One level of starting pitching prospects.

14) Joseph Williams - Like Devaney, it's hard to dispute the success Williams had in Brooklyn this past season. The fact that he's a lefty aids his chances to be challenged quickly in the Mets' farm system.

15) Mike Swindell - Another college arm that was drafted in 2004 that will have to quickly prove he can become a solid starting pitching prospect for the Mets.

16) Gaby Hernandez - The Mets' third round pick in 2004, right now, Hernandez appears to be second behind Petit with the highest upside among the starting pitching prospects. It's too early to tell, but Hernandez has the talent to duplicate Petit's fast track through the minors.

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