The right-hander holds a 3.27 ERA through nine games and 41 1/3 innings pitched. His outings reveal to the coaching staff in Fort Myers that Gomez will likely be ready for the next minor league level.
"He probably would have gone straight to [Short-A] Lowell this year," pitching coach Goose Gregson said. "The only reason he's having to pitch another year [here] is because he had a setback right in the middle of Extended Spring [Training] that put him behind the eight ball.
"He'd made all the necessary advancements fundamentally and was ready to be challenged under the lights.
"It was a little discouraging for him to have to stay back here," Gregson continued. "If all things work out well, we'd love to see an opportunity – everyone believes that sometime in August he's gonna be ready to at least get a taste of it because he's got a very good chance to compete for a job in [Single-A] Greenville for next year."
"Every inning I feel more comfortable with my pitches," Gomez added through the help of a translator, "and that's just how I throw. Every time I go out, I feel better – better command, more confidence, better pitches.
"My fire and challenge is just to help the team win games. I'm just trying to keep pitching well and go to the next level. That is all that I want."
Gomez, a native of Columbia, led the GCL in starts during his first season with the Red Sox in 2010. Initially, he was a young athlete coming into the system but has bought into the pitching plan of the organization and progressed accordingly.
"I couldn't be more please with him," Gregson said. "After he had that little setback, he worked even hard to get his shoulder strength back, his shoulder was a little fatigued. His shoulder strength is fine now; his velocity is spiking back up.
"When he came to us he had the ability to throw secondary pitches, that's one of his strengths, which is rare in a young pitcher. Some of our young Latin pitchers are usually known for having the arm strength in the fastball and we have to work and develop the secondary pitches.
"He came to us with a real good feel for a curveball and an excellent feel for a changeup."
How is he a different pitcher today than on November 21, 2009 – that day he was signed as a non-drafted free agent?
Gomez has a simple answer. "I'm just more comfortable and have a lot more confidence now than in 2009. I can recognize the strike zone better, the hitters better."
"The more comfortable you see them, a lot of these guys are settling down, feeling more comfortable," Red Sox manager George Lombard noted. "Their natural abilities will come out, but when you have that nervousness, that anxiety that comes [with starts], then you don't play to your full potential."
On Thursday, July 19, Sergio Gomez
faced an aggressive Orioles lineup and was forced to work through a jam in the first inning. After giving up a three earned runs on four hits at the start, Gomez sailed through the next four innings with efficiency in his approach.
"He's not the biggest kid in the world and this heat is oppressive," Gregson explained. "For any pitcher, if you go out there and pitch efficient, it's easy to pitch five innings. If you don't, you're going to toil and you're not going to get through three, four innings.
"That's has been one of his stumbling blocks a little bit, when he's not trusting his stuff and feels like he has to throw perfect pitches sometimes and can get him in trouble early, but does seem to settle into games as he throws."
The 18-year-old's performance that Thursday was telling for manager George Lombard.
"You love it and it's great when a young kid like that is in that situation – to have a little adversity in the game and be able to respond like that," Lombard said. "He's got a plus changeup and for a little guy, as skinny as he is, his velocity is, I don't know, 88-90 [mph], maybe touching 93 [mph]."
"I just forgot about the runs and just tried to get the guy [that was] up next," Gomez commented on his mentality after the first inning. "I got to give the team a chance to get the runs back and stay in the game. I just focus on pitching and getting outs."
"He's starting to realize that if he trusts his stuff and throws strikes, he's going to get deeper into ball games, and that the only way that kids down here are able to pick up a win starting, if they get through that fifth inning," Gregson said.
"His whole approach is laid back. He needs an occasional prod, but not in a bad way, and you like to see that in a pitcher on the mound.
"He doesn't get rattled, pretty laid back and easy going, but he is still a fierce competitor. Despite all of that, he competes but does so a little more quietly. As long as he's got it inside him, you don't mind that."
"He's gotta get stronger, really command his fastball and he could be special," Lombard concluded. "I got to see him last year, he's really developing, and you get to see it happening all before you."
FORT MYERS, FL – In his third full season with the GCL Red Sox, Sergio Gomez has evolved into a trusted arm for the rookie league club. Ranked seventh in the Gulf Coast League in ERA last season (2.68), Gomez takes the mound with affirmed confidence in the pitches he is throwing and is seeing success.
Sergio Gomez could have pitched at a higher level but a minor injury held him back in the GCL again.