Two words, Brewers fans. Go Go. That is the nickname of former Brewers fan favorite and one of my favorites, Carlos Gomez. In his career, Gomez spent time with the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, and the Tampa Bay Rays. Although he was never considered a superstar player, his amazing personality quickly made him a fan favorite. Let’s take a look back at his outstanding career.
At the young age of just 16 years old, Carlos Gomez signed with the Mets as an international free agent. He quickly became one of their top outfield prospects with his blazing fast speed, he was also considered a five tool prospect. His speed was like none other. In fact, teammate Jose Reyes, who led the National League in stolen bases and triples for multiple seasons admitted that Gomez was faster than he was.
To start the season in 2006, Carlos Gomez played with New York Mets double A affiliate, The Binghamton Mets of the Eastern League. He finished his 2006 season in double A batting .281 with 53 runs scored, 24 doubles, 7 homeruns, and 48 runs batted in. This led him to being the co-owner of the Sterling Award, emblematic of the Most Valuable Player on his Binghamton (AA) team. Also during the season, Gomez finished second in the league with 41 stolen bases and fifth in the league with eight triples.
Carlos Gomez’s stellar play with the Binghamton Mets, earned him a call-up to the New York Mets Triple A (AAA) affiliate, The New Orleans Zephyrs. By the second week of May, he led the Pacific Coast League with an impressive 17 stolen bases in just 36 games up to that point. He was hitting .286 with 24 runs scored, 8 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 homeruns. With his hot start to the season in AAA. Carlos Gomez got the call he was waiting for. He got called up to the big leagues with the New York Mets.
The Big Leagues
New York Mets
On May 13, 2007, Carlos Gomez made his major league debut with the New York Mets. At the young age of 21 years old, he became the youngest player in the National League (NL). He didn’t get to play much, spending a lot of time on the disabled list. On July 5, he found himself on the 15 day disabled list with a fracture of the hook of the hamate bone of his left hand. Gomez was then transferred to the 60 day disabled list on August 18 and wouldn’t play again until September 7, when he was activated from the 60 day disabled list. He would go on to finish the season hitting .232 with 2 home runs and 12 RBIs in 58 games. During the off-season, Minnesota Twins all-star pitcher Johan Santana became available via trade. The Mets couldn’t pass up the opportunity to acquire the all-star pitcher.
On January 29, 2008, The New York Mets and the Minnesota Twins were able to strike a deal. The Mets traded Carlos Gomez and pitchers Deolis Guerra, Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey to the Twins in exchange for Johan Santana. Once training camp started in 2008, Carlos Gomez quickly became the starting center fielder beating out prospects Denard Span and Jason Pridie. Twins manager at the time Ron Gardenhire gave Gomez his famous nickname, Go Go. He gave him his nickname by simply combing his last name with his blazing fast speed. This nickname stuck with him the rest of his career.
On March 31 2008, Carlos Gomez made his regular-season debut with the Twins and he did not disappoint. He batted 2 for 3 with a walk, 2 stolen bases, and 2 runs scored as the Twins beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2. On May 7, he had his first career four hit game and hit for the cycle. He became the first Twin to hit for the cycle since Kirby Puckett did so on August 1, 1988.
Towards the end of the 2008 season, Carlos Gomez hit his stride again. During the week of September 8-14, he batted .333 with 2 doubles, 1 triple, and 10 runs batted in. Also, he drove in at least one run in each of his games during the week. This earned him American Co-Player of the Week. It was his first career weekly award. On September 10, Carlos Gomez stole his 30th base of the season against the Kansas City Royals. He became just the seventh different Twins player to record 30 or more steals in a season. Gomez would go on to play the 2009 season with the Twins before he was on the move again during the 2009 off-season.
On November 6, 2009, Gomez’s career was about to change drastically when the Milwaukee Brewers traded for the speedy outfielder. The move would send JJ Hardy and $250,000 back to the Twins. Milwaukee was where he reached his true potential and without a doubt had his best seasons of his career. In his 6 seasons with the Brewers, Carlos Gomez made 2 All-Star games and won a Golden Glove Award.
During his first season with the Brewers. Carlos Gomez struggled quite a bit. He batted .247 with 5 HR, 24 RBI, and 18 stolen bases in 97 games. The 18 stolen bases led the team. Gomez became the third player in franchise history with 4 hits in his debut going 4-5 with 2 runs scored, a double, a solo home run, and a stolen base on opening day in 2010. Carlos Gomez would spend time on the disabled list 2 different times throughout the year. The first on 5/11 to 5/20 with a strained left rotator cuff which would land him on the 15-day disabled list. The second stint was on 8/6 to 8/23 after suffering a concussion which ultimately landed him on the 15 day disabled list again. Later in the off-season, he signed a 1 year contract with the Brewers to avoid arbitration.
Without a doubt, 2013 and 2014 were his prime years. He made both of his All-Star games in these two years and won his golden glove in 2013. His Golden Glove Award snapped the streak of the Brewers 30 consecutive seasons without a winner. He was also the Brewers first Golden Glove winner since Robin Yount when he won the award in 1982. To start the 2013 season, it started with Carlos Gomez signing a 3-year contract extension on 3/13. 2013 was his best season as a professional baseball player. He batted .284 with 24 home runs, 73 runs batted in, and 40 stolen bases in 147 games. To highlight the year, he finished ninth in National League Most Valuable Player voting. He did, however, win the team’s MVP that was voted on by members of the Milwaukee Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association.
Carlos Gomez enjoyed another great year with the crew in 2014. He batted .284 with 23 home runs, 73 runs batted in, and 34 stolen bases in 148 games. Gomez was the only player in the National League in 2014 to record 20+ home runs and 30+ stolen bases. 2014 saw him earn his second All-Star game selection and it was his first being selected as a starter. Gomez, reached base safely in 35 consecutive games from 5/7-6/22. That is the fifth-longest streak in franchise history. From 6/2-6/22, he recorded a career-high 18 game hitting streak. It was the longest hitting streak by any Brewers in 2014.
On 4/22/2014, Carlos Gomez received a 3 game suspension for his role in a benches clearing brawl on 4/20 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The brawl started after Gomez hit a ball thinking it was a no doubt home run and flipped his bat and started jogging. The ball then bounced off the wall instead of going over, so Gomez kicked it into another gear and made it safely to third. Pirates pitcher at the time, Gerrit Cole didn’t take so kindly to Gomez showing off as he hit the ball. The two exchanged words at third base and that’s when the brawl started.
Carlos Gomez would spend the rest of his career bouncing between teams. His career went downhill starting in 2015 when the Brewers dealt Gomez to the Houston Astros after 74 games. Gomez would finish out the 2015 season playing 41 games with the Astros. Between the Brewers and Astros, he batted .255 with 12 HR, 56 RBI, and 17 stolen bases. In 2016, Gomez was traded from the Houston Astros to the Texas Rangers. He would go on to play with the Rangers for the rest of the 2016 season and the 2017 season. After the 2017 season, Gomez left the Rangers and would later sign a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2018, he batted .208 with 9 HR, 32 RBI, and 12 stolen bases in 118 games. He made one last appearance with the Mets in 2019 before hanging up the cleats.
Carlos Gomez’s batting was always up and down but his defense was like none other by robbing home runs and always making incredible catches in center field. He won the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013. Although Carlos Gomez was never considered a superstar, his exuberant personality made him a superstar off the field. You could tell how much he loved the game of baseball with every big swing that he would take that would knock his helmet off his head. Carlos was the definition of a Brewer with his hard work and determination. That showed in 2013 when he won the MLBPAA Brewers Heart and Hustle Award. He will always be a Brewer for life, but I think the organization should make it official and bring him back so he can retire a Brewer. Cementing his legacy once and for all.
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