- Full name Héctor Alexis Gómez
- Born 03/05/1988 in San Pedro De Macoris, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 195 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- Debut 09/16/2011
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Rockies signed Gomez in 2004 and he ranked among the system's top prospects for years before Colorado cut bait on the injury-plagued shortstop. The Brewers claimed him on waivers in June 2012. Gomez continues to deal with injuries, and he hit just .196 in 13 games at Double-A Huntsville in 2013, though he rebounded to have a strong season at Triple-A Nashville in 2014. He slammed a career-high 15 homers and received a September callup to Milwaukee. A free swinger who draws few walks and strikes out too often, Gomez is a gifted athlete who has been big league ready defensively for some time. Tall with long legs, he covers ground at shortstop in a few strides, and he has good instincts and a strong arm. At the least, he profiles as a utility player who also can play second and third base. Gomez has a good chance to make the Brewers' roster in 2015 as an extra infielder.
Staying healthy has been a problem for Gomez, who has played in just 214 games over the last four seasons. He missed all but one game in 2008 with a stress fracture in his left leg and an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery, had groin problems in 2009 and a stress fracture in his right leg in 2010. He also had to deal with the death of his son shortly after his birth in June 2010. He and his girlfriend had a healthy son in May 2011, and Gomez was able to play in 102 games despite dealing with back problems. He went home at the end of the minor league season when the Rockies, needing shortstop depth because of several injuries, unexpectedly called him to the big leagues Sept. 16. He made his major league debut that night and went 2-for- 4 in his first start the following day. Colorado wrote him in the lineup twice in the next three days, but he had to be scratched because of a sore lower back and didn't play the rest of the season. Gomez has the tools to make all the plays at shortstop, including plus range, soft hands, quick feet and a very strong arm. He did a better job of playing under control in 2011, fielding a career-high .963. At the plate, Gomez has strong hands that whip the bat through the zone quickly and give him good pop for a middle infielder. He's capable of 15 homers per season, though he's such a free swinger that he often gets himself out by chasing pitches. Gomez will open 2012 in Triple-A, with the Rockies once again hoping that he finally can stay on the field for a full season.
Injuries have slowed Gomez the last three years, but he had a much more significant obstacle to overcome last year. His first son, Hector Jr., died shortly after his birth in late June. Gomez also dealt with a stress fracture in his right leg, sustained in the second game of 2010. He fouled a ball off his left leg in the first game of 2008, then blew out his elbow while rehabbing a stress fracture and required Tommy John surgery. In 2009, he missed a month with a groin strain. Gomez has the prototypical tools of a modern shortstop. He has tremendous arm strength, soft hands and quick feet, which allow him to cover ground and make off-balance plays. His focus tends to wander on routine grounders, however. At the plate, Gomez can turn on any fastball and shows at least 15-homer potential. He's impatient and vulnerable to breaking pitches, which dents his average. He has plus speed but is still learning as a basestealer. The Rockies believe most of his deficiencies can be alleviated with playing time. The two things holding Gomez back are his health and his position. With Troy Tulowitzki entrenched at Coors Field, Gomez will have to move to second base if he stays with Colorado. First on his agenda is getting in a full season of at-bats in Double-A.
A low Class A South Atlantic League all-star as a 19-year-old in 2007, Gomez has been slowed by injuries the last two years. In his first at-bat of 2008, he fouled a ball off his shin, sustaining a stress fracture, then hurt his elbow during his rehab and required Tommy John surgery. He returned to the diamond late last April, then missed almost all of June with a groin strain. Gomez has the tools to be an all-around shortstop. Managers rated him as having the California League's best infield arm last year, and he also has excellent range and soft hands. He has a quick bat that can catch up to quality fastballs, and the power to eventually hit 15 or more homers per season. He has plus speed. After losing so much development time the last two years, Gomez still needs work on the nuances of the game. His lack of plate discipline cuts into his power production. He has a tendency to chase breaking pitches, which the Rockies hope to alleviate by shortening his stroke. He's still learning how to steal bases and he sometimes gets careless in the field. Gomez got some much-needed at-bats in the AFL, paving the way for him to step up to Double-A. Troy Tulowitzki's presence in Colorado means there's no need to rush Gomez, and also could mean he'll move to second base when he's ready for the big leagues.
After earning all-star honors in the South Atlantic League in 2007, Gomez' career hit a roadblock in 2009. In the season opening game for Modesto, he fouled a ball off his left shin, causing a stress fracture. During his rehab he injured his right elbow, requiring reconstructive surgery on July 1. The hope is he can be ready by Opening Day. Gomez excels defensively. He has excellent range, and before the troubles of a year ago had the strongest arm of any player in the organization. He has a quick bat and can't be overpowered. As he fills out he should add the strength to collect extra-base hits. His arm strength will be watched carefully as he returns from surgery, but most players return with as much--if not more--arm strength. Plate discipline has been a problem, marginalizing what little power he has. With Troy Tulowitzki entrenched at Coors Field there is no need to rush shortstops through the system, which benefits Gomez. After losing the 2008 season to injuries, Gomez will be watched carefully during the spring to make sure his elbow has healed fully before he is sent out. Then he figures to return to Modesto for a second shot. With youth on his side, Gomez has plenty of time to regain his stature as a premiere shortstop prospect.
In his first year in a full-season league, Gomez was a low Class A South Atlantic League all-star at age 19. The best of a deep crop of Rockies shortstop prospects, he recovered from a .227 start in April to bat .317 over the next three months before tiring in August. Gomez has the physical tools to be an exceptional shortstop. His range and arm strength are both above-average. He has plus speed, getting from the right side of the plate to first base in 4.2 seconds. His bat isn't as advanced as his glove, but he has some pop and should have average power once he fills out. At this point, Gomez is too aggressive and pull-happy at the plate. As long as he can reach a pitch, he's not worried if it's a strike, limiting his power potential. He needs to improve his basestealing after getting caught 10 times in 30 tries, and his defensive consistency after making 39 errors. With Troy Tulowitzki entrenched in the majors, Colorado has no need to rush Gomez. He'll move one level at a time, with high Class A Modesto his next step.
Gomez brings back memories of the days when his hometown, San Pedro de Marcoris, was churning out quality big league shortstops on a regular basis. He's a quality defensive middle infielder with ample range, soft hands and a live, accurate arm. He spent the season as one of the youngest regulars in the Rookie-level Pioneer League (where he ranked as the No. 3 prospect), and at 157 pounds, he has plenty of room to grow into his 6-foot-1 frame. He'll need to get stronger to handle the grind as he prepares for his first full-season assignment. Gomez is a pure shortstop, but could be an offensive asset at second base, and played nearly half of his games at third base last year. He has a tendency to chase bad breaking balls and is a first-pitch fastball hitter, especially when he gets anxious. That, however, is something that experience can clear up. He knows how to use his hands in hitting and will hit the ball to all fields. He'll get his first taste of full-season ball this season in low Class A.
Minor League Top Prospects
Gomez is another tools-heavy player who plays in the middle of the diamond. He received raves for his arm, footwork and enthusiasm, and he impressed observers with the development his bat displayed over the course of the season. After hitting .227 in April, he batted .317 over the next three months before running out of gas in August. He has some pop but still has work to do at the plate, as he needs to get stronger and more selective. He also must use the entire field instead of trying to pull most pitches. His 39 errors were a product of his range and his belief that he can make every play, but he should become more reliable as he matures. "He's the best shortstop in the league by far," Kannapolis manager Chris Jones said. "He's constantly in the game. He wants to play shortstop and he wants to make every play. He has strong hands and a great arm. He swings at a lot of bad pitches right now, but that will change as he plays more."
Gomez was one of the youngest (18) and scrawniest (157 pounds) players in the league, but managers around the league raved about his ability to play beyond his years. Armed with high baseball intelligence, he rarely was fooled at the plate, striking out just 26 times in 50 games with Casper. Gomez is a very aggressive free swinger, but he makes contact and produces gap power thanks to his fantastic hand-eye coordination. He has solid bat speed, and as he adds muscle to his 6-foot-1 frame, the Rockies think he could hit 15-25 homers annually. A smooth shortstop, Gomez has the plus hands and arm strength to stay there. The only knock on his defense is his ordinary range, and he did spend some time at third base.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the Milwaukee Brewers in 2013
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the Colorado Rockies in 2012
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the Texas League in 2011
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the Colorado Rockies in 2010
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the California League in 2009
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the Colorado Rockies in 2008
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the Colorado Rockies in 2008
- Rated Best Infield Arm in the South Atlantic League in 2007
- Rated Best Defensive SS in the South Atlantic League in 2007