If you haven’t heard already, all star reliever Pat Neshek was traded last night to the Colorado Rockies for three minor-leaguers: infielder Jose Gomez, and two right-handed pitchers, J.D. Hammer and Alejandro Requena.
Gomez and Requena are both 20 years old and Hammer is 23. All three are playing their first year above rookie ball, so it’ll take a while before we see any of them, if they even pan out. You can see each of their stats in the story we posted last night.
Neshek is a really effective relief pitcher, and was having one of his best seasons as a pro. But, let’s be honest, he’s a middle reliever. That’s not going to yield as much value as, let’s say, a starting pitcher or a power-hitting corner defender. The Phillies wanted a quantity and a few lottery tickets. And the one ticket I’d want to have is Gomez.
Gomez played his first two professional seasons in the Dominican Summer League (DSL). His second year was the better of the two, when he hit .3o0/.380/.395 with 16 extra-base hits. This piece from Purple Row, a Rockies blog, says the infielder lacks “a little punch” but that the DSL is notorious for low numbers in the extra-base column. He’s not a home run hitter by any means, and probably never will be, but he has more gap power than given credit for.
He’s also a contact hitter, with a strikeout rate of 7.9 percent last year in the Pioneer League (rookie ball). His strikeout numbers have gone up slightly this year to 57 in 81 games, but that’s to be expected playing in a new league. Still can’t argue with the .324 average, though. Gomez’s OBP the last three years is .393, and he has stolen at least 12 bags each season. He’s up to 18 stolen bases this year.
Despite the numbers, Gomez isn’t on a ton of radars, likely because he played three years of rookie ball. But now that he’s finally in class-A, and is still hitting, he’ll start to get some attention. From the numbers, he’s comparable to Cesar Hernandez. And if he turns into that, we should jump for joy. But if not, just remember Neshek was a middle reliever.