Yankees Top 30 Prospects for 2020: Antonio Gomez (C, #22)
Today we continue our Yankees Top-30 Prospects Countdown for the 2020 season with C Antonio Gomez.
With very little game data to go through, Antonio Gomez is a very interesting prospect who has developed great defensive tools at catcher alongside a more supporting-role offensive profile. Even with only playing in 15 games in 2019 due to a triceps injury, Gomez graduated to the Gulf Coast League in his first professional season and showed why many are high on him. So far, he’s a prospect I’m personally very high on.
(Screenshot From Baseball America Video, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTd4bwFts38)
Antonio Gomez, C (#22):
Age/Date of Birth: 18 Years Old (11/13/2001)
2019 Team(s): Yankees East (Rookie, Gulf Coast League)
2019 MiLB Statistics: .288/.351/.442 (0.793 OPS), 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 Walks, 9 Strikeouts (15 Games, 52 At-Bats)
Height/Weight: 6’2”/210 Pounds
Acquired: Signed by the New York Yankees as an IFA on July 2nd, 2018
MLB ETA: 2023
Antonio Gomez Scouting Grades (20-80 Scale):
What to Know:
Coming out of Caracas, Venezuela, then 16-years-old, Antonio Gomez was seen as one of the top players out of his country and one of the best catchers across the entire international free agent pool. He was ranked among the Top-15 international prospects by each of MLB.com (#11), Baseball America (#14), and FanGraphs (#15) before signing with the New York Yankees. Signing for a bonus of $600,000, Gomez was part of an international class that also brought in top talents Kevin Alcantata (OF), Osiel Rodriguez (RHP), and Alexander Vargas (SS) to the Yankees farm system.
As with many international talents, there is a lot of work for the signing team to do which often, if not always, prevents a player from making any professional appearances in the year that they sign. These players will go on to work in development camps, usually stationed in or near their countries of origin, with the most notable for the Yankees being in the Dominican Republic. Luckily, that following season, those top talents will usually make appearances in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) and may even come to the American Gulf Coast League.
For Gomez, he was remarkably able to do both, and considering his 2019 it was a bit remarkable. After starting the season in the DSL with going 3-5 in his first game, he then spent the next two months of the season on the IL with a left triceps injury. Even after this however, Gomez was promoted to the Gulf Coast Yankees East and played out the final month of the season, accumulating a total 15 games.
Overall, Antonio Gomez shows great defensive potential with a good offensive upside. Recording pop-times near 1.7 seconds in practice and 1.8 in game times, he also has a fast, reliable, and accurate arm which is a skill that many 18-year-olds are have not yet been able to develop. He has good framing abilities and leadership qualities- being bilingual in Spanish and English- which help him with connecting and communicating with his pitchers. His offensive profile has many of the same qualms as other developmental players, with good bat speed and strength but a tendency to ground-out as a result of being too pull-heavy in efforts to hit home runs.
What Will the Future Hold?
It’s nearly impossible to give an insightful glimpse into the future of an 18-year-old with only 15 games under his belt, yet with how well his tools and abilities stand out on defensive and that being the part of a game that usually comes latest for developing catchers, Gomez could see himself running quickly up the system. Obviously, his overall game still has necessary improvements to be made, with a broader focus on his offensive approach and fine-tuning the defense, but coming out of the Gulf Coast league to Pulaski could be in the cards. Still only 18 for all of 2020 this would put him on an incredibly trajectory.
With many other prospects that I’ve looked at I’ve seen very little players who could really pump up the system in 2020. So far, I think Gomez has the biggest potential to boost his stock for this upcoming season to around the Top-15. This is largely due to his age and current tools which provide an obtainable upside given current outlooks. Obviously the triceps injury is an important note, yet as it wasn’t sustained to his throwing arm as that heals there is hope that helps to boost his numbers at the plate. Most likely however, Gomez will see a moderate increase with a good season to above the Top-20 in the Yankees farm system.