Aug 9, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez (27) hits a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
CARLOS GOMEZ (OF)
Carlos Gomez is quite possibly the best recent example of a hyped prospect deemed a bust, who simply put it together a little later than expected.
Gomez was signed internationally by the New York Mets in 2002 and quickly became one of their top prospects. He made his major league debut with the Mets in 2007, but was the centerpiece in the Johan Santana blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Twins the following year.
Gomez struggled mightily with the Minnesota Twins in his two years there, mustering a .645 OPS, an OBP below .300, and only 10 home runs.
In 2009, the Twins and Milwaukee Brewers swapped Gomez and J.J. Hardy for one another. A change of scenery candidate, Gomez didn’t fair much better with the Brewers initially and in his age 24 and 25 seasons he produced a .655 and .679 OPS respectively over roughly 90 games in each season.
The 2012 season was when Gomez started to see the light at the end of the tunnel and his output was much better with a .768 OPS and 19 home runs over 137 games.
It all clicked in 2013 as Gomez, then 27 years-old, was an All-Star with 24 home runs, 40 stolen bases, and a remarkable .508 slugging percentage. The defense had always been there for Gomez, but he was a wizard in center for the Brewers becoming a poster child for taking away the long ball.
Twenty-three home runs, 34 stolen bases, and an .833 OPS in ’14 solidified that Gomez had finally made right on his high ceiling and that he could be considered a reliable force moving forward. Still Gomez had five consecutive seasons of dismal to below average OPS outputs before his breakout.
Again, Beckham has had six seasons of such production.
The two players above are recent proof that for some it does click a little later than expected and Beckham is right at that point of the late bloomer threshold (5-6 years experience). With seemingly a little more pep in his step so far in ’15 and an attitude that makes Beckham look a little more like that initial fan favorite out of Georgia, he might just convert on that potential.
So when you’re focusing on Jose Abreu, Chris Sale, and the myriad of other talented players in Chicago just remember that on the bench the White Sox have a former Top-10 pick who could just pull a Carlos Gomez.