Playing Fantasy Baseball can cause you to follow and fall for some strange figures during the course of a Major League season. Almost a year ago at this time, I thought that player was Dayan Viciedo.
The history books will prove that Viciedo was not a fastball demolishing monster, but rather a player who just got extremely hot for a few weeks in May 2012. But I think Carlos Gomez is something different than just a player who is on a hot streak.
A couple weeks ago Michael Bourn went down with a hand injury and when Jason Heyward hit the disabled list with appendicitis, I was in dire need for an outfielder that could fill in. I took a very late round flyer on Carlos Gomez because I liked his power/speed mix. He has the ability to hit 20 home runs and steal 40 bags. Milwaukee’s Miller Park is an underrated launching pad that doesn’t get mentioned with the likes of Coors, Great American and New Yankee Stadium.
In Gomez’s first nine games played this year he was hitting .162 with no walks. On April 14th – the first game of a doubleheader against the Cardinals – Gomez started on a tear. Into my fantasy lineup he went, not by choice but by circumstance.
Since that April 14th day Gomez has posted a slash line of .509/.576/.912, and the player who walked just 20 times all of last season has compiled six walks. He’s homered five times and stolen six bases. He’s collected 29 hits. He is a monster. He should replace that nameplate on his back that reads ‘Gomez’ with ‘Better than Desmond Jennings and B.J. Upton’ but it wouldn’t fit on the back of the jersey. And he likely came to you ten rounds later than those players due to bad fantasy owners who draft guys based on name and not on the things they’re capable of.
He is a Latin player with the swag to match. When he hits a home run, he flips the bat like it’s a walk-off job. He plays with fire. When he makes an out he drops four letter F-bombs with cunning regularity. He is every fantasy owner’s dream player, and I could care less if Michael Bourn takes a summer long sabattical.
Carlos Gomez has the look of a superstar. If it all comes crashing down, this is a hot streak that hits throughout the course of the season that did not go without notice or appreciation. And that’s why fantasy baseball is great. It provides us with the most unlikely of heroes. It piques our interest in the most obscure sorts. Like Milwaukee’s flashy 6th-hole hitter.
But for at least a three week period to begin the 2013 season, Carlos Gomez was on top of the world. And no one can take it away from either of us.