1. Antonio Gomez
From palling around with Yadier Molina to excitedly calling his own highlights on Instagram, catcher Antonio Gomez has been the bright light in a dark Yankees offseason.
If his skills with the bat and behind the plate match his sharp personality, New York might just have a 20-year-old keeper here as Gary Sánchez approaches free agency.
No, Gomez won’t be ready by next year. Don’t get ahead of yourself. But there’s a lot to like in his potent package, and his arm and pop time appear to be unmatched within the organization.
Currently the team’s 25th-best prospect (per Pipeline), he’s also their most projectable catcher, and his first taste of stateside pro baseball went well in 2021.
In 46 games, Gomez triple-slashed .263/.375/.417, though in a 17-game cameo in the Florida State League, he struggled a bit with the bat, hitting .197 with a pair of bombs.
All winter long, he’s been working in preparation for his first full season, which should also begin under Rachel Balkovec’s tutelage with Low-A Tampa yet again.
Gomez probably won’t go zero-to-100 this year and make a Diego Cartaya-type leap (the Dodgers’ newly-minted top catching prospect), but anyone who’s watched his personal BP sessions knows there is serious electricity in that bat waiting to be unlocked.
Expect a laser show from time to time this season, no matter what the overall numbers say, as well as some defensive highlights that will make you stop and take notice.
Perhaps 2023 is the season where Gomez really flies up the ranks, but in 2022, he should open up a significant number of eyes.