Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
4. Jonny Gomes
When one thinks of Americana, certain images come to mind. Baseball. Eagles. The stars and stripes. And Jonny Gomes, the bearded Every Man of baseball.
Yet, when Gomes is not defending liberty, justice, the American Way and the right to punch a disruptive grocery store patron in the face, he has been a solid enough left fielder. Over his career, Gomes has posted a .244/.335/.442 batting line with 155 home runs, which is not exactly great, but he has been quite deadly against left handed pitchers. Against lefties, Gomes has a .277/.376/.485 batting line with 62 home runs.
Clearly, Jonny Gomes would be placed in some sort of platoon role. The only issue with that is, none of the other options for the Astros in left field are overly strong against right handed pitching either. However, there is hope that either Jake Marisnick, or the switch hitting Robbie Grossman, could become solid against right handers.
Much like Rodriguez in the previous slide, Gomes also has a history of winning. In fact, as he is swift to point out, teams have generally won anywhere he has been. Perhaps that is because defeat is terrified of his beard and overall demeanor, but Gomes has made the postseason in four of the past five years, and was a part of the Rays team that made the 2008 World Series. That ability to somehow change a culture of a clubhouse could have an impact.
Jonny Gomes may not be high on a lot of people’s lists of players that could make a difference, but his clubhouse leadership could be quite the asset for the young Astros.