2. Yan Gomes (Cleveland Indians)
Aug 4, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes (10) hits a two run home run during the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Progressive Field. The Indians beat the Reds 7-1. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
A look at last season:
Being just 27 years old for the upcoming 2015 season, Gomes could be the best young catcher in the AL Central. Gomes was the catcher for the reigning AL Cy Young award winner in Corey Kluber last year, and his offensive numbers didn’t disappoint, either.
Last season, Gomes had 518 plate appearances and in that span of appearances batted .278 with a .313 OBP and .472 SLG, leading to 21 home runs and 74 RBIs.
With Gomes, he also put up numbers that included: 61 runs, 25 doubles, three triples and 24 walks. His strikeout numbers were high at 120.
In Baseball Prospectus, that publication says about the catcher:
"“Formerly one of the best-kept secrets in the American League, Gomes is now firmly on the radar following a full season of across the board contributions.”"
I don’t believe there is a catcher in the Central who has more potential than Gomes entering the ’15 season.
Behind the plate, Gomes had a .988 fielding percentage with 14 errors in 1,082 innings (1,139 chances). Even with the 14 errors, he was still a Gold Glove award finalist.
2015 Baseball Prospectus Projections:
Gomes is being projected to bat .268 in 450 plate appearances this upcoming season. He’s also had projections of .314 OBP and .443 SLG.
A closer look at the BP projections for the Indians’ catcher has him scoring 51 runs, along with adding 24 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs and 56 RBIs. He’s also being projected for 25 walks (he had 24 last season) and 108 strikeouts, which is better than the 120 he finished with in ’14.
They said it:
The following quote is from The Chronicle Telegram, where writer Chris Assenheimer quotes Gomes about last season:
"“You can definitely tell when a guy is bringing his defense to his hitting. I don’t think anyone would care if I was struggling hitting and we were still winning ballgames. (Manager) Tito (Francona) put that in my head, and I really do believe in that. I still put in my work with hitting, but I try to focus and study so much more on my defense and whatever the pitching staff is doing that it clears my mind when I’m hitting.”"
Next: No. 1: Salvador Perez