Yankees Top 30 Prospects for 2021: Antonio Gomez (C, #21)
The Yankees were able to get one of the top players in the 2018 IFA class in Antonio Gomez, who already has the tools on defense to make an impact at nearly any level. At 19 years old though, some injuries have kept him from getting out of the GCL. With an improvement on offense, he’s a good pick to move quickly up the system, though a 2023 MLB ETA does seem ambitious at the moment.
ANTONIO GOMEZ, C (#21):
Age/Date of Birth: 19 Years Old (11/13/2001)
Most Recent Team(s) (Level and Year): Gulf Coast Yankees East (Rookie, 2019)
Most Recent Yearly Statistics (2019): .255/.314/.404 (.718 OPS), 1 HR, 7 RBIs, 3 Walks, 7 Strikeouts (14 Games, 47 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 as a 16-year-old, Antonio Gomez is the first international signee that we’re going to be looking at in this series. One of the top international talents, Gomez was universally ranked in the Top-15 across the major publications and was one of (if not the) best catcher available. As part of a solid 2018 IFA class, the New York Yankees signed Gomez to a $600,000 bonus in mid-July 2018.
Gomez (as with most international talents), and unlike signing a player from the draft, typically wait until the season following their signing to make their first appearances in professional ball. Teams use this time to work on fundamentals and help the player with the many background processes to prepare the player for a future in the USA.
For Gomez this meant a start to his professional career in 2019, where he played in 1 game, going 3-5, in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) before getting hurt and missing two months with a triceps injury. Yet, when he returned Gomez was promoted to the Gulf Coast Yankees East (Rookie) where he finished out the final 14 games of the season.
He also missed out on 2020 instruction while dealing with another similar arm issue last summer. Unfortunately, since a 2018 signing, this has been all his professional experience.
As a hitter, Gomez is a power-first bat. He has good bat speed and strength which help him take advantage of a swing that makes consistent contact. However, this does lead to a pull-friendly approach, which combined with missing the barrel of the bat has led to more groundballs.
However, Gomez’s true value is held up with his amazing defense behind the dish and his incredible arm. With a pop time that hovers around 1.7-1.8 seconds, Gomez is able to play-up on an arm that scouts have placed as already tops in the system. Combine it with good framing and it’s clear why he’s a favorite in the farm system.
What Will the Future Hold?
It’s hard to make judgements on a player with just 15 total games of professional experience. The tools Gomez possesses are great and at 19 years old he does have plenty of time to prove that they aren’t just showcase pieces. He’s already been assigned back to the GCL Yankees East (Rookie) and he definitely has a shot at going up to the Tampa Tarpons (Low-A) if he can stay on the field. Catchers with great defense tend to move quickly up the ranks as long as the bat can play fine, of which it seems that it won’t be hard for Gomez.
An MLB ETA of 2023 does seem aggressive to me, however. To go through 4 new levels of the minors in 3 seasons wouldn’t be impossible but definitely does seem ambitious. I think he has a better shot than most to make the MLB given his high defensive praise (see: the career of Jeff Mathis), but I would want the Yankees to develop his bat so that his future career isn’t as a journeyman, but instead a potential all-star.