Apr 27, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes (10) at bat in the top of the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Yan Gomes Out To Prove His Potential


When the Cleveland Indians signed Yan Gomes to a six-year, $23 million dollar contract, they were taking a leap of faith on a player that had only been in a Tribe uniform for one season, had only been a starting catcher for the Indians for three months, and had yet to be on a MLB roster for Opening Day. By ensuring that Gomes would have the opportunity to be behind the plate in Cleveland through 2021, the Indians sent the message that he is an important part of a young Indians team. 

While we will have the next seven seasons to evaluate the Indians return on the investment in Gomes, early indications in the first month of 2014 point to Gomes becoming one of the key players on the Indians roster. He has 32 hits in 119 at bats, good for fourth overall on the roster, and his six home runs trail Michael Brantley by one for the team lead.
While there have been some definite positive indicators through the first month of the season, Gomes does rank third overall with 30 strikeouts and is towards the middle of the roster when looking at OBP (.313, 11th overall). His OBP for the 2014 season is currently below his 2013 average of .354 (which put him 10th overall). However, he only hit 11 home runs in 2013, so it appears that if he maintains his current pace, he will easily surpass that in 2014.
Defensively, Gomes has struggled out of the gate, as he leads the MLB with nine errors, that majority of which have been bad throws to bases. Gomes is known for his quick feet and reaction time, but in the first month of play, that has come back to bite him.
In an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Indians Catching Coach Sandy Alomar praised Gomes’ foot speed, but said the rest of his body needs to catch up.
“His arm is fine. Sometimes his mechanics are too narrow or too spread out and his feet are so quick that there are times when his arm can’t catch up to the rest of his body.”
             -Courtesy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer
Growing pains are to be expected for a young player like Gomes; the Indians were aware of that when they decided to make him their catcher for the future. Patience will be key as Gomes grows as a player and improves his play behind the plate.
The sample size may be small, but Gomes has shown flashes of his true potential early in the 2014 season and all signs right now point to him being worth the six year extension.

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