Yesterday marked the end of the first half of the MLB season and the All-Star game festivities have already begun. In the All-Star game on Tuesday night, the Brewers will be represented by four players, including Carlos Gomez. At midseason, Gomez finds himself in the midst of a close NL MVP race with Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates and his own teammate Jonathan Lucroy. We may not know it yet, but Gomez could become the first MVP from Milwaukee since Ryan Braun just three years ago.
If there is one player that opponents love to hate, it’s Carlos Gomez. He’s flamboyant, he’s maddening at times, but he is fun to watch. He’s the only player I know that can make his own strikeout seem exciting just by flinging his helmet or attempting to break his bat (and not succeeding) in disgust. You could argue that Gomez is the most exciting player in the National League. But, he still overshadowed by other stars like Puig and McCutchen.
Gomez is a complete player. These days, it seems that in order to be an MVP, you have to do everything well. He may not be on pace for a big offensive year, but Gomez is one of the most dangerous base-stealers in the NL, racking up 17 stolen bases to this point. And, we can’t forget about Gomez’ skills in the outfield. Brewers fans will never forget the day that he robbed Joey Votto of a home run in emphatic fashion. Without him, the Brewers wouldn’t have the lead in the NL Central to begin the All-Star break. Whether it’s his personality or his play, Gomez is the player a city like Milwaukee needs. He has brought life to the franchise again.
Although Gomez has been fabulous, we have to respect what Andrew McCutchen and Jonathan Lucroy have been able to do. In the past two seasons, McCutchen has transformed the Pirates into a contender. Like Gomez, he is a complete player with a powerful bat and a golden glove. Lucroy, on the other hand, is the most underrated player in the game. He plays arguably the toughest position in baseball and makes it look easy. He has been just as important to the Brewers than Gomez and his intelligence behind the plate is worth noting.
If we ended the season day, Gomez would get my vote for the NL MVP. He doesn’t deserve to win just because of what he can do on the field, but because of what he has done off the field. He means more to the city of Milwaukee than any other Brewers player. But, remember, this is only midseason. In baseball, anything can happen. I’ve learned that over the years.