Despite video game like numbers in 2022, Moises Gomez is not getting the respect you may think he should
One of the biggest topics during the off-season for the St. Louis Cardinals has been whether or not they will add an impact bat to their lineup. Whether it be through their new starting catcher, one of the big name shortstops on the market, or acquiring a veteran left-handed bat for their lineup, John Mozeliak has indicated their desire to improve their offense.
One move that was a bit under-the-radar that could have an impact on their lineup in 2023 was the addition of Moises Gomez to the 40-man roster. Gomez, who was signed as a minor league free agent after 6 minor league seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, is just 24-years old and lead all of Minor League Baseball with 39 home runs, playing 120 games total with exactly half of those in Double-A Springfield and half in Triple-A Memphis.
Why is it someone who absolutely mashed the baseball in the highest minor league levels last year not a top prospect in the Cardinals system, nor someone who is frequently talked about as an outfield option on a team that lacks certainty in that area? According to scouts, he swings and misses far too often to be an impact bat at the major league level.
Gomez punishes the ball when he makes contact, the issue is that he doesn’t make contact frequently enough in the minor leagues to project that kind of home run pace against the game’s best pitching. Still, 39 home runs is nothing to scoff at, and could be a sign of continued development for Gomez. 174 SO is just 120 games is pretty brutal, yet he maintained a .371 OBP and .966 OPS in 2022.
Could Gomez find a role in St. Louis in 2023? Sure, especially if he cuts down his strikeouts some and continues to find success at the plate. It may still require some injuries or moves to the guys above him though, but if he is on that kind of home run pace again in 2023, how could you keep the guy down in Triple-A? Yet, there is still a way he could be impactful in 2023 for St. Louis without ever touching their big league roster…