Name: Nelson Gomez
Position: Third Baseman
DOB: October 8, 1997
Batting and Power. Gomez's signature calling card is his plus power to all fields. With 20 home runs already in his first 111 games It's not just projectable power either, it's 'now' plus power with the chance to develop into a plus-plus tool when it's all said and done. When he connects it's almost as good as gone. While the power is in-your-face special, however, he is still learning how to optimize that power by becoming a better overall hitter. He has hit just .221 in his career thus far and while that isn't very good his overall hitting ability is not nearly as bad as the lower batting average would suggest. He is quite patient at the plate, looks for his pitch to hit, and is actually pretty adept at going center to opposite field too, all strong signs that he will eventually be able to hit for average. His biggest weakness to date is trying to crush everything when he does get ahead in counts and that aggressive swing can get him out in front a little too often. A bit more maturity and employing a more consistent patient approach could really maximize his hitting potential. He has the chance to be an average or better hitter with elite power production if he continues to progress.
Base Running and Speed. A slugger type, as expected his running game is marginal at best. He has worked hard on his conditioning early in his career and shows a bit more nimbleness than most heart of the order hitters so opposing pitchers won't be able to take him too lightly but in the grand scheme of things he is more of a station-to-station runner who is the mildest stolen base threat.
Defense. The first thing that stands out defensively for Gomez is his plus arm strength. He has an absolute bazooka on his shoulder and it's one of the reasons some scouts are intrigued by his long-term defensive projection. Should he physically out-grow third base down the road he has the special arm strength to slide very nicely into right field. As is stands right now though, as noted previously, Gomez has worked tirelessly on improving his physique, range, and agility, and the early returns have been nothing short of remarkable. He currently shows the requisite athleticism to be a solid average defender at the hot corner, showing decent hands and range to go with the great arm, but keeping up on his conditioning will be of the utmost importance for the remainder of his career. Should he get lazy in that regard he has the kind of body that could get out of hand and ruin his chances of sticking at third.
Projection. Gomez has one of the higher ceilings in the entire Yankee farm system and it's because his in-game power is already so special. In fact, power-wise he's nearly a big league given despite being so far away from the Major League level. It's the other areas of game that will need to be harnessed during his minor league journey. With a patient approach and one of the shorter, compact swings for a slugger, he has the ability to hit for average someday and his tireless work ethic has done wonders already reshaping his body and improving both his quickness and agility. If he can maintain that plus makeup and work ethic over the ensuing years, and make being a better all-around player his top priority in almost Greg Bird-like fashion, like Bird he could wind up being an offensive monster down the road that could anchor the heart of a big league lineup. The choice is really his as he has the natural talent to be as good as he wants to be, if he wants to continuously put in the needed work.
ETA. N/A. Gomez just turned 19 years old this offseason and still hasn't played under the lights. The Yankees will want to expose him to that in 2017 so he seems most likely ticketed for the short-season leagues after Extended Spring Training, with Pulaski his most likely destination. Should the hitting become consistent though, he has the kind of special power that could accelerate his minor league track quickly.