In this series, we continue to break down our top 25 Indians players from the 2018 season. Today we talk about a beloved catcher who has moved on…
Well, I have to admit; I didn’t think I’d be writing behind tears again so soon, but here I am. Yan Gomes has left the Cleveland Indians for the National League, and I’m still not over it. I understand the logic of the move, but that’s not what we’re here to discuss today.
We’re looking at how effective he was for the Tribe in 2018, and boy has he been special. Gomes blossomed into one of the best catchers in the American League. He made it as far as his first All-Star game in 2018, and that was without being an everyday starter.
I personally think a lot of the Indians pitching success came from Gomes. He was able to call great games for guys like Kluber and Carrasco and he brought a pretty powerful bat with him. Gomes slugged for .449 last year, his best since 2014.
While Gomes was effective at the plate, 2018 was a bit of a down season for him behind the plate. He went from catching 42 percent of runners on base stealing to 28 percent last season. While that isn’t horrible, it’s a downward trend from previous seasons for him.
The ineffectiveness of Roberto Perez helped play into why Gomes was so valuable for the Tribe this season. Where Perez struggled at the plate, Gomes thrived and continues to play both better offense and defense. Gomes started 102 games at catcher for the Indians in 2018, I expect that number to rise while he is in Washington.
It’s going to be odd seeing Yan Gomes in another uniform. I’ve only known him as the Tribe catcher, and he’s filled that role for a long time. He’s bound to do great things when he heads to Washington DC, but let’s remember how great he was for us in 2018.