Yankees Top 30 Prospects for 2021: Yoendrys Gomez (RHP, #8)
An international bargain in terms of scouting and skills, the Yankees may have found a great pitcher out of Venezuela in Yoendrys Gomez back in 2016. On the plus side, he boasts 3 above-average pitches and has a clean and easy delivery. As a negative, it did take him nearly 3 full years to escape rookie ball and he has seen very middling success against competition. I don’t know where to make the judgement call on Gomez currently, though 2021 will be an important season before we see either prospect fatigue occurs or Gomez realizes his potential on the field.
YOENDRYS GOMEZ, RHP (#8):
Age/Date of Birth: 21 Years Old (10/15/1999)
Most Recent Team(s) (Level and Year): Charleston RiveDogs (Class-A, 2019); Pulaski Yankees (Rookie, 2019)
Most Recent Yearly Statistics (2019): 4-5 Record, 3.99 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 56.1 Innings, 53 Strikeouts, 19 Walks, (12 Games, 12 Games Started)
Height/Weight: 6’3”/175 Pounds
Acquired: Signed by the Yankees as part of the 2016/2017 International Free Agent Class in early July 2016.
MLB ETA: 2022
YOENDRYS GOMEZ SCOUTING GRADES (20-80 SCALE):
What to Know:
Coming out of Venezuela, the Yankees found the right-handed Yoendrys Gomez and saw the 16-year-old as a projection arm. The Yankees would sign him in early July 2016 as part of the 2016/17 international free agent class. So far, it would seem that Gomez was the best bargain for the Yankees of the 2016 as he signed with just a $50,000 signing bonus. Like many normal IFA signees, Gomez did not play professional ball in 2016.
In 2017 Gomez spent the majority of the year with the foreign rookie league Yankees of the Dominican Summer League (DSL), pitching in 10 games with 8 starts. He didn’t impress mightily as he also had a 4.78 ERA, though he did make a 1 game appearance with the Yankees West of the Gulf Coast League (GCL, also a Rookie level team), where he would go 3 innings as a starter while allowing 5 hits, 6 walks, and 4 runs to just 1 strikeout.
In 2018 Gomez improved greatly. He again started the season with the DSL Yankees but was promoted back to the GCL Yankees after just 2 starts with a 1.00 ERA while abroad. When he came back to the states, Gomez continued his improved performances pitching to a 2.33 ERA over 10 games (9 starts).
However, it would take until 2019 for the Yankees to move Gomez beyond the rookie leagues, splitting the year between the Pulaski Yankees (Rookie, Appalachain League) and the Charleston RiverDogs (Class-A, South Atlantic League). Gomez would make 6 starts at each level while pitching to a 2.12 ERA in Pulaski…but a 6.08 ERA in Charleston.
In 2020 Gomez was left to his own devices as he was not selected to the alternate site, nor did the Yankees host an instructional league that he was a part of. It’s unclear how he spent the season, likely away from Yankee coaches, yet he did earn a 40-Man roster spot going into the 2021 season.
As of now, Gomez has been assigned to the Tampa Tarpons (Class-Low-A, Southeast) though he has yet to make a start at the level.
Gomez controls three pitches to an above-average level, even though he has not yet seen the scouting grades on his pitches translate to in-game success. He throws a fastball that sits in the mid-to-low 90’s between 92-95 MPH that can reach 97 MPH. His fastball also plays up due to high spin rates that help create a riding action. However, Gomez’s best pitch is his curveball which also takes advantage of his ability to generate a lot of spin. To round out his arsenal, Gomez also controls a changeup that he has learned to trust more throughout the years.
Gomez’s delivery comes out of a 3/4th arm slot, that when combined with his size helps his pitches play up. His delivery is very clean and is easily repeatable for Gomez, which has helped him show a better feel for pitching than others in the farm system. Again, he’s looking for on-field successes to come from it, but even as he has added strength the delivery hasn’t suffered.
What Will the Future Hold?
Yoendrys Gomez has a lot of promise and shows what the Yankees and scouts across the MLB like in practices, yet the on-field product has alluded him so far. The Yankees have been careful with his promotions thus far and are starting him with the Tampa Tarpons (Class-Low-A) for the beginning of the 2021 season. I would expect that if he plays well, Gomez could find himself in Hudson Valley (Class-High-A) around mid-season.
With an MLB ETA of 2022, it would seem unlikely to happen at Gomez’s current rates. It still is yet to be seen how his 2020 season has helped his development and not having played above Low-A after 3 seasons in the minors should be of some concern. While Gomez has a ton of promise and what seems like all the necessary bells and whistles to get the job done, there is something hidden he has not yet fixed. Still just 21-years-old, Gomez looks to be on a track for prospect fatigue given his potential and projection remaining, though a promising 2021 season could help put him back on track. As of right now, I do not have a true feeling on him one way or another, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.