The Yankees signed third baseman Nelson Gomez for $2.25 million as part of their big 2014 International Free Agent spending spree. At the time, Gomez was ranked as the second-best prospect in the IFA class by MLB.com and ranked sixth on Baseball America’s list.
Gomez made his professional debut during the 2015 season in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. In 58 games, he hit .243/.350/.435 with nine doubles, a triple and 11 home runs. He drove in 55 runs and walked 34 times, but struck out 66 times in 230 at-bats.
In 2016, he made his debut in the United States with the Gulf Coast League Yankees, but he struggled to hit. Over 54 games for the GCL Yankees, he hit just .194/.249/.403 with 11 doubles, a triple and nine home runs. In 54 games, he drove in 37 runners and walked just eight times.
He did hit better as the season went on, with just a .136 batting average in June, a .173 average in July and a .227 average in August.
Gomez appeared in just 27 games for the Short-Season Staten Island Yankees in 2017 after starting the season serving a five-game suspension for an incident from the 2016 season. The third baseman hit a minuscule .128/.269/.174 over 86 at-bats while striking out 37 times and hitting just one home run. Gomez walked 12 times and drove in five runs before leaving the team mid-season due to personal issues.
Nelson Gomez is the prototypical power prospect. He won’t hit for a high average, he will strike out a lot but will smash the ball. In 120 professional games, he already has 20 home runs and 92 RBIs. He has plus raw power with good bat speed and just needs to work on his pitch recognition and get more comfortable at the plate. As he develops through the minors, he needs to cut down on his strikeouts. Gomez is not extremely athletic, though he does possess good hands at third base. There is a chance as he further fills his body he will have to move across the diamond to first.
Gomez is an interesting case, he has a lot of raw talent that he has yet to tap into and demonstrate on the field. If he were to return to the Yankees he would likely be spending the first part of the season in extended spring training before staying back in Tampa for the Gulf Coast League season.
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