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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Alexis Gomez

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 8/6/80, Age: 21, Bats/Throws: L/L, Height: 6’2’’, Weight: 180. Acquired: Royals - Signed out of the Dominican Republic on 2/21/97. 2001 Stats: (High-A - Wilmington) .302 AVG, 169 AB, 8 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 7 SB, 11 BB, 42 K, .344 OBP, .391 SLG; (AA - Wichita) .281 AVG, 342 AB, 15 2B, 6 3B, 4 HR, 16 SB, 27 BB, 70 K, .333 OBP, .395 SLG. 2002 Stats: (AA - Wichita) .396 AVG, 96 AB, 5 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 10 SB, 6 BB, 11 K, .423 OBP, .563 SLG.
    Alexis Gomez is the “best all-around athlete in the system” for the Royals, a phrase typically associated with a player that has yet to translate his considerable athletic ability into usable baseball skills. In Gomez’s case, that transition might be occurring as we speak. Gomez has started this season on a tear, hitting above .400 until succumbing to the chicken pox two weeks ago. Gomez has a quick, lefthanded stroke with surprising pop for his build. It may never translate into a prototypical home-run swing, but he should be able to provide consistent gap-to-gap power. One deficiency of his is masked during every hot streak: his lack of plate discipline. Without a better batting eye, Gomez will never be able to progress as a leadoff hitter, a position that the remainder of his skill set lends itself to perfectly. So far this year, he has not increased his walk totals at all, but he has cut down on his strikeouts dramatically. Time will tell whether that statistic is the benefit of his hot streak or a change in hitting tactics. As far as his speed, Gomez is extremely fast, but he has been content to steal a handful of bases with his speed alone, without learning how to read the pitchers. That is a skill that he could develop significantly over the coming years, and it is one that the Royals could certainly use at the top of their current batting order. In the field, Alexis is an above average center fielder, using his speed to cover a tremendous amount of ground (which makes up for a few bad reads). His arm is well above average as well, which may serve him well should he be bumped over to right field at some point due to the presence of Carlos Beltran. Over the past few years, all facets of his game have progressed significantly, but the last few steps to get him to the majors (base stealing and plate discipline) are still yet to be made.
    The light is at the end of the tunnel for the Royals, in my opinion, and no, contrary to popular belief, it is not a locomotive. The only position in the system without a legitimate prospect or young major leaguer is third base, and Joe Randa will be serviceable for the time being. A batting order consisting of Mike Tonis, Mike Sweeney, Carlos Febles, Angel Berroa or Neifi Perez, Joe Randa, Dee Brown, Carlos Beltran, Mark Quinn, and Alexis Gomez would be a young, exciting one to go with a pitching staff of Jeremy Affeldt, Jimmy Gobble, Jeff Suppan, Chris George, and Dan Reichert, with Colt Griffin waiting in the wings. Obviously, this is a scenario that depends on both the Royals keeping the players they need to keep (which has already started with Sweeney’s re-signing) and the continued progression of players like Gomez, Brown, Tonis, Berroa, Gobble, George, and Affeldt. I think this lineup will be a reality for Kansas City come 2004, and I think they would have a chance at playing .500 ball. Alexis Gomez has an opportunity to be a major part of this lineup, since he is one of the top two candidates to bat in the leadoff spot (Febles being the other). Hot streaks are fun to be in and fun to watch, but I will be curious to see Gomez’s numbers at the end of this month. Another six weeks of this type of performance, and he will probably find himself in AAA. All told, I don’t think any hot streak will have him ready to compete for a major-league job until 2004, but it is difficult to figure out the Royals sometimes. There are those that would say that Gomez is a Corey Patterson clone, but that will probably only be true if Patterson falters. I would say that he is some combination of Chris Singleton, Jacque Jones, and Tom Goodwin: a player with a decent batting average, poor plate discipline, a little power, good speed, and good defense. In other words, a serviceable ninth-place hitting center fielder for the future. A few more walks coupled with a little more weightlifting, and I might be considerably more impressed, but for now I see a bottom of the order hitter for a mediocre team.  


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