Gómez with the Astros in 2015
|Texas Rangers – No. 14|
December 4, 1985 |
Santiago, Dominican Republic
|May 13, 2007, for the New York Mets|
(through 2016 season)
|Runs batted in||453|
|Career highlights and awards|
Carlos Argelis Gómez Peña, nicknamed Go-Go, (born December 4, 1985) is a Dominican professional baseball outfielder for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers, and Houston Astros. Gómez is a two-time MLB All-Star and a Gold Glove Award winner.
At just 16 years of age, Gómez signed with the New York Mets as an international free agent on July 27, 2002. Along with Fernando Martínez, Gómez was considered one of their top 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 was faster than he was. 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 (PCL) 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 Gómez 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 fifth 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. Gómez 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, Gómez 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 Gómez to play more full-time in center. Gómez ended up having the best season of his major league career at that point. Gómez 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, Gómez signed a 3-year, $24 million extension with the Brewers, which will keep him signed with the club through 2016.
Gómez 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, Gómez 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. Gómez was named National League Player of the Week for his efforts, the third time he has won the award. Gómez 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, Gómez got into an altercation in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the game, Gómez 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 Gómez still ended up at third base with a triple. When Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole confronted Gómez about showing off, the two began to argue, and as the two were separated, Pirates player Travis Snider confronted Gómez as well, causing Gómez to throw punches at Snider, igniting a brief brawl in which Snider got hit in the eye by Gómez' teammate, Martin Maldonado. Gómez 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, Gómez 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.
Gomez signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers on August 20, 2016, and was assigned to their Round Rock Express of the PCL. He was promoted to the major leagues on August 25 and made his Rangers debut that night vs. the Cleveland Indians. Gomez homered in his first plate appearance with the club in a 9-0 win. He would hit a grand slam off of Felix Hernandez of Seattle on August 31; having hit one against them earlier in the season while with the Astros he became only the fourth player to hit two grand slams against the same opponent for two different teams (joining Ray Boone in 1953, Mike Piazza in 1998, and Ike Davis in 2014). Gomez finished the 2016 season with a batting average of .231 and 13 HR. Gomez rebounded with Texas after a dreadful 85 game stint with the Houston Astros. He finished with a .284 average and 8 HR in 33 games for Texas.
On December 13, 2016, Gomez re-signed with the Rangers on a one-year contract.
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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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