The Second Coming
When you look at Alex Rios, it is hard to not get reminded of Carlos Gomez. Gomez is listed at 6'4" and 195 pounds and Rios is listed at 6'5" and 194 pounds. Both are five tool players with long arms that generate some serious pop. They were both guys that put on shows during BP but had some issues carrying that pop after after the first pitch was thrown out. Gomez kind of swings out of his shoes while Rios is more smooth, but Rios is a much older and more advanced player at this point and Carlos should come into his own in time.
Their similarities go past their physical appearance as well. Through Rios' first four years of pro ball, he hit .293/.335/.401 in 556 games and 2,159 at-bats with 20 homers and 159 XBHs and he broke into the minors at 18 in the Pioneer League. Gomez broke in at 18 as well in the Appalachian League and has hit .279/.340/.401 in 1278 at-bats over 333 games. Gomez has 18 homers with 100 XBHs over that span. Gomez exhibited more pop through their younger years, but the big difference between the two of them was that Rios never saw higher than Advanced A-Ball at Dunedin in the Florida State League while Gomez was holding his own in AAA and getting a cup of coffee in the bigs and reinforcing people's minds that he is legit.
Rios played an entire year at 22 years old in the Eastern League before moving up to AAA to play for Syracuse at 23. He played 46 games before getting called up in 2004. He played well and flashed some extra base power but only hit one homerun. It wasn't until 2006 when Rios finally started silencing his critics. He started to hit for power while asserting himself as a force in the big leagues at 25 and posted a slid OPS of .865. Gomez is way ahead of that curve. His first complete year at AA occurred when he was 20 and might have been a candidate to take a starting spot in the bigs out of Spring Training '08 if not for his injury.
However, at this stage in his career, he needs at-bats and sitting out the rest of the year is not going to help his development. Jim Callis from Baseball America saw enough in Gomez from his stint with the Mets for him to believe there is a good shot he reaches that extremely high ceiling that many see in him. While his broken hamate threw a wrench in his plans, another year in the minors would probably prove to be extremely beneficial. With Alou's affordable option and Milledge on the team, there should be no reason to rush Carlos and he could provide some solid insurance while honing his skills. However, when Gomez comes up for good, think Alex Rios with more speed. He has the ability to be that good.
Eighteen year old Deolis Guerra got the start for St. Lucie and went six innings while allowing five hits, two earned runs, and two walks while striking out two. While his 4.37 ERA and his 1-5 record may not look overly impressive, his 1.14 WHIP, .241 BAA, and 3.0 K/BB ratio tell a different story for an extremely young kid.
Nick Evans went 2 for 4 in the game as well and has been impressive as well putting up nearly identical numbers minus the steals as Henry.