Houston Astros: Will Carlos Gomez be the Impact Player Carlos Beltran was?
Carlos Beltran is not very popular to Houston Astros fans, as he and agent Scott Boras used the Astros as leverage to get the New York Mets to up their ante for him to sign with them. However, Beltran had an enormous impact on the Astros 2004 playoff run following his June 24th trade to Houston as part of a three-team trade. Beltran quickly brought his energy and emotion to the Astros, which led him to become a fan favorite in Houston. Then he chose to take the money over staying on a team that ended up going to the World Series the following year.
The reason for bringing up Beltran was to compare his impact with the Astros to the recent acquisition of Carlos Gomez for the Astros in 2015. It’s not exactly the same because Gomez was traded for later in the season, and he will be an Astro the following season as well. Let’s start off looking at both players stats before being traded to Houston and their stats from the year prior to the trade.
Looking at Beltran’s full 2003 season and Gomez’s 2014 season, you see some similarities in their game. They both had the ability to hit for decent average, home runs, and a fair amount of speed. The 29-year-old Gomez has a lower on-base percentage and slugging percentage than the then 26-year-old Beltran did. Looking at the stats prior to their respective trades, you will see that Gomez is not the same player in 2015 as he was in 2014 while Beltran was a little off of his normal pace.
Beltran is clearly the better player at the time of the two comparisons, but could Gomez have the same impact that Beltran did in 2004? Let’s take a look at Beltran’s stats during the regular season after the trade to Houston.
Beltran with Houston 2004 Stats: .258 AVG/ 70 R/ 86 H/ 23 HR/ 53 RBI/28 SB.
Granted that the Astros received Beltran a month and change earlier than Gomez was traded to Houston, so the stats could be a little off and unfair to expect from Gomez. To get a better idea of what Gomez can offer the 2015 Astros, let’s take a look at his 2014 second half stats.
Gomez with Milwaukee 2nd Half 2014 Stats: .253 AVG/ 37 R/57 H/ 9 HR/ 25 RBI/ 17 SB.
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Gomez missed a little time this year and last year with injuries, which would explain his dip in stats a little towards the end of 2014. Maybe Gomez plays a little above his head at times, which leads to a drop in production in August and September? Astros fans have to hope that having him in the lineup will add to the 2015 Astros success. Gomez may not have the power and slash line that Beltran did, but he does have the energy to go out there and play.
To Beltran’s defense, what earned him the generous contract from the Mets was his postseason play with the Astros in 2004. He carried the Astros and the Killer B’s that postseason and turned out one of the best postseason performances in history. Blake wrote about the Killer B’s here: Houston Astros: Modern Day Killer B’s are Up and Coming.
In 12 games in the playoffs in 2004, Beltran hit .435/ 21 R/ 8 HR/ 14 RBI/ 6 SB.
If Gomez stays healthy and George Springer finds his way back from the fractured wrist, the Astros will have two of the most dynamic outfielders in the game. Some fans are concerned that the trade for Gomez represents the teams concerns about Springer returning at the beginning of September. We can only hope that this is not the reason for the trade. Gomez may not have had the best debut with the Astros yesterday, give him time Astros fans.
Next: Houston Astros: Scouting Carlos Correa with Joey Sola (Interview)