Gomez Pushing Hard

The Yankees signed third baseman Nelson Gomez as one of their top International free agent players this year back on July 2nd. While there have been some initial growing pains, he says he's been working hard behind the scenes in preparation for his debut season next year.

One of the more highly touted amateur players entering this past year's market, Nelson Gomez signed for a reported $2.25 million back on Signing Day.

"I feel very blessed to have signed with the Yankees," he said through the help of a translator. "I've been working really hard the last couple of years to get to where I'm at now."

Where that reportedly is a burgeoning big league slugger. The scouting book on him prior to signing was plus raw power, plus arm strength, and gifted hands.

"My right now I think my best tool is my defense," he opined. "Obviously I can hit a little bit but defense so far is my best tool."

Though he lists defense as his best tool, and it's easy to see why given his soft hands and cannon for an arm, the fact is he is already built like a slugger. Standing 6-foot-2 and already a conservatively listed 220 pounds, the fact is he just turned 17 years old last month so it stands to reason he's not done growing yet.

There are going to be ongoing physical conditioning concerns as he continues to mature and though he has shown signs of being a patient hitter who can be short to the ball, there is also work to be done making that a consistent part of his game and not falling in love with his special power potential.

"Since I've signed I've gotten a lot better at everything overall; my body, mentally, my mechanics, everything," he said. "I've gotten better at everything."

While he and his coaches admit there have been obvious adjustments made, learning to settle down is always the first task for any first-year player. Some players find it important to justify their contracts right out of the gate and that is especially the case for 16 and 17-year old players.

"I'm swinging at bad pitches so my pitch recognition has to get better," he admitted. "And the swing itself on those bad pitches has to get better."

He was noticeably pressing too much at Instructs in Tampa last month, swinging early and often, and getting away from his normal game of sitting on his pitches.

"It hasn't gotten as well as I would have liked but I'm pushing hard, I'm enjoying the moment, and I'm learning a lot to keep moving forward," he said.

He apparently learned his lesson in his professional baptism during Instructs last month and things have gone reportedly much better for him down at Dominican Instructs. He chalks up the entire experience thus far on the back fields as a learning process and he says he feels he will be a better player for it once he begins his official debut season next year.

"I'm just getting everything in right now. Hopefully everything sinks in, I have a positive mindset, and next year I'll be ready," he concluded.

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