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Mauro Gomez celebrates a title in the Dominican

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  January 23, 2013 03:23 PM

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Escogido beat Aguilas, 3-0, on Tuesday to win the Dominican Winter League championship for the second consecutive season.

Mauro Gomez was the DH for Escogido and was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. He was 2 for 20 with three RBIs in the five-game series.

In the semifinals against Este, Gomez was 2 for 18. But both hits were home runs, including a three-run blast in the eighth inning to win the deciding fifth game.

Gomez hit a modest .242 in 50 games during the regular season in the DR but had a .370 on-base percentage and a .451 slugging percentage thanks to 30 walks and eight home runs. He drove in 38 runs in those 50 games.

What do the Sox have in Gomez? At 28, he's too old to be called a prospect. But he has crushed Triple A pitching the last two seasons (.307/.363/.551 with 48 home runs and 164 RBIs). He also plays first base, a skill that theoretically could land him on the Opening Day roster.

The Red Sox are Gomez's third organization since 2009. He got called up last year and hit .275/.324/.422 in 111 plate appearances over 37 games. Gomez had two home runs and struck out 26 times.

In that fairly small sample, Gomez looked like a guy who could hit a fastball and was overmatched by decent offspeed stuff.

Gomez isn't particularly adept in the field. The Sox tried him at third base a few times last season and it was tough to watch. He is more of a first baseman but has made 29 errors at that position in the minors over the last three seasons. He also doesn't run all that well, which cuts down on his use as a bench player.

Gomez is a AAAA player, a guy who is probably a little too good for Triple A and not quite good enough for the majors. He's also a righthanded hitter and the Sox need a lefty hitter off the bench.

All that said, it's hard to find players with power these days, and Gomez has that. With Mike Napoli's innings sure to be controlled in spring training, we could see a lot of Gomez in spring training. Perhaps the strong showing in the winter will carry over.

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