The Boston Red Sox were mostly quiet during the Rule 5 Draft, but they made some noise near the end of the affair. Boston added two players to the minor league roster, one of whom was relief pitcher Anyelo Gomez. Gomez is an intriguing prospect, as he was actually selected by the Atlanta Braves in the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft back in 2017. However, the righty missed the majority of 2018 with a shoulder injury and is now a major question mark heading into 2019.
Red Sox Prospects: Anyelo Gomez
Just like fellow Rule 5 acquisition Andrew Schwaab, Gomez initially entered the New York Yankees system as an undrafted free agent. Making his first appearance in 2013, the righty spent the first few years of his career working as a starter. However, New York put him in the bullpen midway through 2016 and the change worked wonders. Dominating in shorter outings, Gomez shot through the Yankees farm system like a bat out of hell.
Starting 2017 in the Low-A system, Gomez made it all the way up to AAA before the year was done, dominating at every step along the way. Pitching a combined 70.1 innings between four different minor league systems, Gomez recorded a sterling 1.92 ERA and 2.19 FIP. He struck out 31% of the batters he faced while walking just 7.5% of hitters.
This breakout season put the former undrafted free agent on the national radar. The Atlanta Braves took a chance on Gomez, selecting him in the Rule 5 Draft. However, Gomez didn’t make the Braves Opening Day roster, and was thus returned to the Yankees system.
Gomez probably would have made the majors in 2018, but a shoulder injury prematurely ended his season. The righty couldn’t build on his breakout 2017 season, as he threw just 7.1 innings all season long. Because of this, the Red Sox were able to snag him in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft.
Gomez’ Pitch Tool
When looking at what Gomez can do with the ball, it’s amazing that he ever went undrafted. The 25-year old hurler boasts an explosive and deadly four-seam fastball. The pitch normally rests in the
Gomez complements this pitch with a solid two-seam fastball and a decent slider. His two-seamer is a seldom-used offering primarily used to keep hitters on their feet, but the slider has real promise. The pitch comes in faster than your average slider, but Gomez possesses a strong command of the offering and it has just enough movement to induce weak contact and swings-and-misses.
From a mechanical standpoint, Gomez has a lot of moving parts in his delivery. Per 2080 Baseball, his delivery has a violent motion which occasionally can cause his head to move mid-delivery. While this type of delivery probably wouldn’t work for a starter, this shouldn’t be a concern for a full-time reliever like Gomez.
Quite frankly, the Boston Red Sox might have earned the steal of the Rule 5 Draft. Gomez has been lights out since becoming a reliever, and his pitch tool suggests this wasn’t a one-year fluke.
Gomez has a powerful fastball that can hit triple digits with decent movement. That alone makes him a promising major league prospect, and his slider and two-seamer only improve his odds of making it big.
Gomez will need to show that he’s fully recovered from his injury-plagued 2018 season. Assuming he is, the sky is the limit for the 25-year old pitching prospect. Gomez currently isn’t on the Red Sox 40-man roster, but he probably will earn the honor at some point in 2019. Once he does, look for him to fight for a full-time role in the Red Sox bullpen. Assuming he’s healthy, he’s easily good enough to stay in the majors.