Gomez Makes Fast Impression

New Twins outfielder Carlos Gomez certainly appears confident that he can be a significant contributor at the major league level this year.

"Sure!" he said the other day. "They don’t have no speed like me. I know I can help this team. Especially when I hit ahead of Morneau and the catcher and the other guy."

Gomez elaborated further on his speed, which is a plus-plus tool:

"My dad was fast," Gomez said. "When I was a kid and I worked out with my older friends, they all worked out so hard for their running. I do nothing. They say, ‘Why are you so fast when you don’t do nothing?’ I tell them that my dad was fast."

Hall of Famer Rod Carew, an instructor at Twins camp this spring, heaped praise on Gomez but said that he will also have to improve his bat control to capitalize on his speed.

"He’s going to have to learn to understand what his job is," Rod Carew said. "He can’t try to hit every ball over the fence. That won’t help the ballclub. You want him to be aggressive at the plate, but he has to tone it down a little.

"If you swing as hard as you can every time, and don’t make contact, you aren’t helping anyone. If he can control those swings, he’ll be OK."

Gomez, 22, was acquired this off-season in the trade that sent lefthander Johan Santana to the Mets, making him the No. 2 prospect in the Twins’ system.