Gomez appeared in only 33 games last season. Yet, he nearly matched the offensive numbers he put up in 85 games when he was in Houston. Seems as though the A.L. West wasn’t the only thing the Rangers stole from the Astros in 2016.
After signing a minor league contract in late August, Gomez immediately made an impact by hitting a three-run home run in his first at-bat. He would continue to spark the Rangers lineup, eventually becoming the everyday lead-off hitter.
After back-to-back all-star appearances in 2013 and 2014, Gomez was traded to the Houston Astros at the 2015 trade deadline. To say he underachieved in Houston would be an understatement. Gomez posted a .619 OPS and a -0.1 WAR in 126-games and wasn’t the superstar center fielder the Astros traded for.
Gomez looked like he felt right at home at the top of the Rangers order. He hit eight home runs in 116-at-bats for Texas compared to the five home runs in 295-at-bats for Houston. Maybe Gomez just likes hitting in Arlington. His eight home runs at the Globe Life are the 2nd-most at any stadium for his career. His .895 OPS is his 5th-highest.
Gomez is also a terrific defender. Winning a Golden Glove in 2013, his 24.4 UZR ratings is still the 2nd-best UZR posted by a center fielder since 2010. He is four-years older so don’t expect that type of performance again, but expect great defense by Gomez in center this season.