I was looking up some of Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez’s numbers today, basically just to make myself sad as a Twins fan frustrated by his becoming another player to thrive after leaving Minnesota. I then tweeted about how good Gomez has been, calling him one of the dozen best players in baseball, and I was surprised by how many replies I got acting like that was a ridiculous notion.
Look at how he’s developed as a hitter during the past three seasons:
2012: .260 batting average, 19 homers, 42 total extra-base hits, 37 steals, .768 OPS in 137 games.
2013: .284 batting average, 24 homers, 61 total extra-base hits, 40 steals, .843 OPS in 147 games.
2014: .317 batting average, 11 homers, 27 total extra-base hits, 9 steals, .974 OPS in 47 games.
Add it all up and during that two-and-a-half year span Gomez has hit .281 with 54 homers, 60 doubles, 16 triples, 86 stolen bases, and an .838 OPS in 331 games. Among the hitters with a lower OPS during that span: Evan Longoria, Nelson Cruz, Bryce Harper, Albert Pujols, Ryan Zimmerman, Allen Craig, Carlos Beltran, Mike Napoli, Justin Upton, Adam Jones, Adrian Gonzalez, Alex Rios, Jay Bruce.
Oh, and Gomez is a Gold Glove center fielder too.
Wins Above Replacement attempts to measure a player’s offensive, defensive, and baserunning contributions and dating back to 2012 he has the eighth-highest WAR total in all of baseball among position players. It’s fine to be surprised by how good Gomez has been lately, but at this point the only reason “he’s one of the dozen best players in baseball” might be mockable is that it undersells just how good he’s become at age 28.
And trust me, as a Minnesotan it pains me a great deal to say that.