A Look at the Houston Astros’ Carlos Gomez’s Early Career Shift
Before I get started, I am not an MLB baseball scout, instructor, or expert. I am just a high school teacher with the passion for the Astros. While I was not overly excited following the trade, I was a big Brett Phillips and Josh Hader fan, and I understood why Jeff Luhnow felt like he had to make the move for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers at the time. There was a reason that the Brewers were looking to trade Gomez.
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This post will not focus on the fact that Gomez has been terrible this year, even Gomez understands that he has struggled. While I am on the topic, I know that we are frustrated with his performance, but please refrain from calling him out on Twitter directly. These players are people too, and they do care about how they play, they don’t need the constant reminders.
Gomez may be homerless in this season, but the most shocking stat is that he ranks second to last in OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) with a .486 OPS. He trails only Erick Aybar, who has a .426 OPS. What happened to the player who was a two-time All-Star between 2012 and 2013?
According to Ryan Parker, Gomez started off his career trying to be a leadoff hitter to capitalize on his speed. His swing and lower part of the body was not made to look for making contact, and it was designed to drive the ball. His hips tended to open before his arms moved, which was normally a sign of a power hitter. He added the leg kick which transformed him into a power hitter.
He also started his stride a little later than he did before, which kept him more balanced at the plate. This season, we have seen Gomez with some awful swings, where he is swinging so hard he knocks his helmet off. There is no balance to his stride, more of a player just trying to swing to hit the ball as hard as they can.
We also have to consider that he started at an early age of 21 in 2007, so he has had eight to nine years of all out play that put a toll on his body. Sometimes players just lose it suddenly, but has it been that sudden, as he has dropped in slugging percentage for four years now since his high of .506 in 2013? He is still swinging for the fences, but coming up empty.
Next: What is going on with Gomez?