Halfway through the 2016 season, it certainly looked like veteran outfielder and former first-round fantasy baseball star Carlos Gomez was going through one of the more rapid early declines in recent memory. Gomez earned that classification by getting pink slipped by the Houston Astros after just 85 games that year when he hit all of .210 with 5 home runs in 295 at-bats. Years of leg injuries seemed to take a toll on Gomez’ production and he was forced to accept a mid-year signing by the Texas Rangers to salvage his season. Likely getting a boost from a fresh start, Gomez showed the Rangers that he was not done just yet as he sparked the team in the second half by batting .285 with 8 home runs and 5 steals; production that earned him a one-year extension for 2017. While expectations remained muted for Gomez entering into last season, he did well enough by posting a 17/13 ratio in the HR/SB columns and played good defense in the outfield. Alas Gomez batted just .255 and his 29.8 K/9 showed that the holes in his swing are getting bigger than ever. Now facing free agency, Gomez is still just going to be 32 when the 2018 season kicks off. It would stand to reason that Gomez biologically still has a few solid seasons left in the tank but he is losing air in the tires almost everywhere you look. For one thing, the 13 steals Gomez had last season were his lowest since 2009 and the K/9 has now been over 29.0 each of the last two years after coming in at a very solid 21.2 in 2015 before the overall offensive slide began. Injuries are also becoming too numerous to chronicle which further adds to the risk here. While Gomez has quietly had a very good career (which included that short run of first-round five-category production), the tea leaves all suggest this is a player in an unending early career decline.
2018 PRODUCTION: .251 14 HR 48 RBI 54 R 11 SB