Mauro Alexis Gomez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 230 lb.
Gomez originally signed with the Texas Rangers; the scout was Manny Batista. He hit .236/.330/.314 in his pro debut for the DSL Rangers, with 36 runs and 30 walks in 63 games. He came stateside in 2004 and hit .246/.301/.373 while fielding .874 at third base for the AZL Rangers. He started 2005 sharp for the same club, going 5 for 13 with 3 walks, 2 doubles and a homer but a right ankle fracture ended his season early. He split 2006 between the AZL Rangers (18 for 44, 3 2B, 3 HR, 5 BB, 14 RBI in 11 G) and Bakersfield Blaze (.258/.279/.399 in 59 G, 6 BB to 71 K in 222 PA). He fielded .810 at third but .985 at first base.
Gomez had a good first full season in the US in 2007, hitting .262/.316/.445 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI for the Clinton Lumberkings. He only drew 23 walks while striking out 115 times, though, and made 17 errors at first base. He led the Midwest League in times hit by pitch (18) and double play grounders (18) and was third in home runs (trailing Juan Francisco and Brad Miller). In 2008, he batted .244/.281/.361 with 93 strikeouts in 316 at-bats for Bakersfield. Mostly a DH for the 2009 Blaze, he produced at a .285/.333/.535 clip with 35 doubles, 28 home runs, 94 RBI and 141 strikeouts. He was 7th in the California League in doubles (between Roger Kieschnick and Charlie Blackmon), 4th in dingers (behind Jon Gaston, Carlos Peguero and Joseph Dunigan), 8th in RBI (between Peguero and Thomas Neal) and tied for 8th in strikeouts (with Shane Keough). He led Rangers farmhands with 268 total bases and was two homers shy of Michael Bianucci for the most. He lost All-Star honors at DH to Scott Van Slyke.
The Bani native became a free agent following the 2009 season and signed with the Atlanta Braves. He hit .281/.349/.471 as the first baseman for the Mississippi Braves, with 42 doubles, 16 home runs and 80 RBI. He led Braves minor leaguers and the Southern League (one ahead of Johan Limonta) in doubles. In the Braves organization, he was 4th in home runs (2 shy of Freddie Freeman, Cody Johnson and Mitch Jones), 2nd in RBI (7 behind Freeman) and 4th in OPS. He tied Collin Cowgill for 6th in the SL in homers, was 7th in RBI (between Taylor Green and Tony Thomas) and was 4th with 122 strikeouts (behind Peguero, Alex Liddi and Trayvon Robinson). He led SL first basemen in errors (13) and putouts (1,038). Limonta beat him out as the All-Star 1B.
Moving up to the Gwinnett Braves in 2011, Mauro batted .304/.356/.522 with 34 doubles, 24 home runs and 90 RBI. He tied Jerad Head for third in the 2011 International League in homers (trailing Jorge Vázquez and Stefan Gartrell) and was also among the leaders in total bases (264, 1st), RBI (4th, behind Vázquez, Gartrell and Val Pascucci), average (10th), slugging (4th behind Russ Canzler, Head and Jeremy Hermida) and doubles (5th, between Devin Mesoraco and Gartrell). He lost out All-Star honors to Matt Hague. Among Braves farmhands, he was two homers shy of leader Ernesto Mejia. He struggled in winter ball, hitting .180/.297/.288 for the Leones del Escogido.
Signed by the Red Sox prior to the 2012 campaign, Gomez began the year with the Pawtucket Red Sox, hitting .294/.336/.610 with 10 homers and 33 RBI in 34 games. He was tied with Matt LaPorta for second in the International League in homers (behind Brad Eldred), was second in RBI (to Eldred) and was 5th in slugging. He was then called up to the majors in May, when Darnell McDonald went on the disabled list, and he made his big league debut on May 13th against the Cleveland Indians, striking out against Jairo Asencio in his only plate appearance. He would wind up having three stints with the Red Sox that year. His first hit in the majors was a double off A.J. Griffin. His first homer in the majors was a shot off Jeremy Guthrie that was part of a four-hit day. He hit .275/.324/.422 for a 100 OPS+ with 17 RBI in 37 games while being used as a corner infielder and DH. For Pawtucket, he played 100 games that year and batted .310/.371/.589 with 34 doubles, 24 homers and 74 RBI. He finished second in the 2012 IL in average (.004 behind Jose Constanza), tied for third in doubles (with Kevin Frandsen and Cord Phelps), tied for third in home runs (with Eldred and Mejia, behind Dan Johnson and Corey Brown), 5th in RBI, 5th in total bases (228, between Johnson and Brown), 7th in OBP (between Justin Henry and Brown), 1st in slugging (66 points more than Brown) and 1st in OPS (by 72 over Brown), very good numbers considering he spent over a month in the majors. He was named the IL All-Star DH and MVP. Among Red Sox farmhands, he was 7th in doubles (between Michael Almanzar and Sean Coyle), led in homers (four over Xander Bogaerts and Keury De La Cruz), 5th in RBI (between Bryce Brentz and David Renfroe), third in average (behind J.C. Linares and Jackie Bradley), led in slugging (56 points over De La Cruz), led in OPS (45 points over Travis Shaw) and was 4th in total bases (between Shaw and Bradley).
He had a strong winter in 2012-2013, hitting .242/.370/.451 with 8 homers, 33 runs and 38 RBI in 50 games for Escogido. He was third in the Dominican League in home runs (one behind Juan Francisco and Marcell Ozuna), led in RBI (9 more than Robinzon Díaz and Francisco), led in runs (4 more than Moises Sierra and Héctor Luna), led in walks (30, one ahead of Luna and Nelson Perez), was 8th in slugging (between Rhyne Hughes and Juan Perez) and was 7th in OPS (between Alex Valdez and Jean Segura). He and Luna shared the MVP award, the first time since Cesar Gerónimo and Tony Pena 30 years prior it had been shared.
Signing with the Toronto Blue Jays for 2013, his numbers were down though still productive with the Buffalo Bisons (.249/.322/.521, 29 HR). He tied Zach Walters for the 2013 IL home run lead (one ahead of Mejia), tied Luis Jimenez for 7th in RBI, was 8th in total bases (211, between Chris Colabello and Mike Hessman), was second in slugging (118 points shy of Colabello) and was 4th in OPS (between teammate Jimenez and Cody Asche). Among Blue Jays minor leaguers, he led in homers (6 over Ryan Schimpf), tied Jimenez for third in RBI (behind Andy Burns and Brad Glenn) and was 4th with 226 total bases (between Glenn and Schimpf). He was named the IL All-Star DH for the second straight year. He struggled at .190/.243/.260 for Escogido in 2013-2014.
His strong performances in AAA and lack of opportunities in MLB made him the typical candidate to go to Nippon Pro Baseball and he signed with the Hanshin Tigers. He began the 2014 season as Hanshin's cleanup hitter and first baseman. He grounded out against Tomoyuki Sugano his first trip but doubled in Yamato Maeda and Tsuyoshi Nishioka his next time at the plate, scoring on a Matt Murton double. He finished the day 2 for 4 with two doubles.
Sources include 2011 Braves Media Guide, 2008-2012 Baseball Almanacs