Gómez with the Astros in 2015
|Houston Astros – No. 30|
December 4, 1985 |
Santiago, Dominican Republic
|May 13, 2007, for the New York Mets|
(through July 24, 2016)
|Runs batted in||428|
|Career highlights and awards|
Carlos Argelis Gómez Pena, nicknamed Go-Go, (born December 4, 1985) is a Dominican professional baseball center fielder for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has also played in MLB for the New York Mets, the Minnesota Twins, and the Milwaukee Brewers. Gómez is a two-time MLB All-Star and a Gold Glove Award winner.
At just 16 years of age, Gómez signed with the Mets as an international free agent on July 27, 2002. Along with Fernando Martínez, Gómez was considered one of the top New York Mets outfield prospects, and was considered to be a five-tool prospect. While they were teammates, Mets shortstop José Reyes, who led the National League in stolen bases and triples for multiple seasons, said that Gómez is faster than he is. In fact, while he and Gómez were teammates with the Mets, Gómez routinely beat him in foot races during Spring training 2007.
In 2006, he played for the Double-A Binghamton Mets of the Eastern League, and was the co-winner of the Sterling Award. He finished second in the league with 41 stolen bases and fifth in the league with eight triples. He also batted .281 (121–430) with 53 runs scored, 24 doubles, seven home runs and 48 runs batted in.
Gómez started the 2007 season with the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs. Playing every day, by the second week of May he led the Pacific Coast League with 17 stolen bases in 36 games and hit .286 (40-for-140), scoring 24 runs, and hitting eight doubles, two triples, and two home runs.
New York Mets
Gómez was the youngest player in the National League when he made his major league debut on May 13, 2007. When Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins became available via trade, the Mets traded Gomez and pitchers Deolis Guerra, Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey to the Twins to acquire him on January 29, 2008.
Gómez became the starting center fielder for the Twins, following Torii Hunter's signing with the Los Angeles Angels. He won a three-way race for the center field in 2008, beating out prospects Denard Span and Jason Pridie. Gómez's 40-time had been clocked at 4.29. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has nicknamed him "Go-Go" due to his last name and his blazing speed. Batting first, with Alexi Casilla batting second, Gardenhire has referred to the speedy duo as "Loose Cannon One," and "Loose Cannon Two."
He had an excellent regular-season debut for the Twins, going 2-for-3 with a walk, two stolen bases and two runs as the Twins beat the Angels, 3–2. On April 11, 2008, Gómez hit his first career triple off Yasuhiko Yabuta of the Royals.
On May 7, 2008, Gómez hit for the cycle against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. He became the fourth major leaguer in history to hit for the reverse natural cycle. He also became the third-youngest player to hit for the cycle in MLB history.
In 2011, he led all NL outfielders in range factor, at 2.97, and tied for the NL lead in fielding percentage of outfielders, at 1.000. On July 20, 2011, Carlos fractured his collarbone when he made a diving catch in shallow center field. Gomez returned for the rest of the season in September. Through 2011, he had the best career range factor of all active major league outfielders, at 2.923. During the 2011 Postseason, Gómez hit .357, with 1 home run and 2 RBIs.
In 2012, Gomez started the season platooning with Nyjer Morgan and Norichika Aoki in center field, until Morgan's lack of production and Aoki being moved to right field allowed Gomez to play more full-time in center. Gomez ended up having the best season of his major league career at that point. Gomez had career highs with a .260 batting average, .305 on-base percentage, 19 home runs, and 37 stolen bases in the 2012 season.
Prior to the 2013 season, Gomez signed a 3-year, $24 million extension with the Brewers, which will keep him signed with the club through 2016.
Gomez started the 2013 season as the Brewers starting center fielder, though he struggled early, batting only .162 after the first couple of the weeks of the season. After that, Gomez went on a tear, getting 3 hits in each of the next three games, raising his average back up to .300 just a week later. Gomez was named National League Player of the Week for his efforts, the third time he has won the award. Gomez was named to his first All-Star team.
On September 26, Gómez was suspended for one game for his role in an on-field altercation during a game on September 25 against the Atlanta Braves. In the game, Gómez hit a home run, and as he trotted around the bases, shouted at Braves pitcher Paul Maholm for apparently throwing at Gómez in an earlier game. As Gómez reached home plate, Braves catcher Brian McCann deliberately stood between Gómez and home plate, blocking him, which sparked a brief brawl between the two teams.
Gómez's 2013 season has been by far the best of his major league career, attaining career highs in practically every offensive category: a .284 batting average, .338 on-base percentage, 27 doubles, 10 triples, 24 home runs, 80 runs scored, 73 RBI's, and 40 stolen bases. Gómez had a spectacular season defensively as well, leading the league in defensive putouts, as well as taking away a staggering 5 potential home runs. The spectacular season play also earned Gómez first in the National League in Wins Above Replacement (WAR). Gómez won the NL Gold Glove Award for center field. Gómez became the first Brewer to win the award since Robin Yount in 1982,
Gómez began 2014 as Milwaukee's starting center fielder and leadoff hitter. In May, Gomez got into an altercation in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the game, Gomez hit a deep fly ball that he initially thought was a home run. As a result, he flipped his bat out of his hand, something he was known to do when hitting a home run. The ball ended up hitting the outfield wall, though Gomez still ended up at third base with a triple. When Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole confronted Gomez about showing off, the two began to argue, and as the two were separated, Pirates player Travis Snider confronted Gomez as well, causing Gomez to throw punches at Snider, igniting a brief brawl in which Snider got hit in the eye by Gomez's teammate, Martin Maldonado. Gomez was suspended for three games. He initially appealed the suspension, but dropped it after suffering a minor back injury, using the time for the suspension to rest his back. Upon his return, Gomez was moved to the clean-up spot in the Brewers batting order, fourth, due to injury to the usual clean-up hitter, Aramis Ramirez. Gómez had another solid season in 2014, batting .284 with 23 home runs, 73 RBI's, 95 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases, though he was also caught stealing a career-high 12 times.
On July 30, 2015, the Brewers traded Gómez and Mike Fiers to the Houston Astros for Brett Phillips, Domingo Santana, Josh Hader, and Adrian Houser. On October 6, Gómez hit a solo home run in the AL Wild Card Game against the New York Yankees to put the Astros up 2–0 in the 4th inning, propelling them to a 3–0 win and a berth in the ALDS.
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- Lewis, Brian (June 4, 2007). "El Duque's Schooling a Hit for Gomez". New York Post. Retrieved June 15, 2007.
That is how a speedster whose 64 steals in 2005 were second in all of minor league baseball – and who Jose Reyes admits is faster than he is – should be playing the game.
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