Yasser Richard Gómez Soto
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 11", Weight 185 lb.
Yasser Gómez spent 11 seasons in the Cuban leagues and achieved notice for his contact hitting and defense while displaying little power. He also spent 4 years with the Cuban national team, debuting for them at age 19, but failed to hit .270 or higher in any tournament with the squad.
In the 1997-1998 Cuban Serie Nacional, Gómez made an impressive debut for the Metropolitanos. He hit .359 (5th in the league) and set a new rookie record with 112 hits. He won Rookie of the Year honors. In 1998-1999, Yasser moved to the Industriales and set an aluminum-bat era record for triples (12), including an amazing three in one game on January 23 in consecutive at-bats against Ciro Licea.
The teenager made his Cuban national team debut in the 1999 Intercontinental Cup, going 0 for 2 as the backup CF to Yobal Duenas. Gómez still made an impact on the Cup in a very negative way. In the 11th inning, he lost a fly ball from Gary White in the sun, giving White the game-winning single as Peter Vogler raced home. In the 1999-2000 Serie Nacional, he hit .333 to tie Antonio Scull for third in the league.
Gómez was Cuba's main center fielder in the 2000 Olympics; he hit .250/.250/.250 in 8 games; only Ariel Pestano hit worse for the traditional power. He went 0 for 4 with a strikeout against Ben Sheets in the Gold Medal game.
Gómez hit .380/.481/.480 in the 2000-2001 Serie Nacional. He was well back of the league leader in hitting in a high-average year as Osmani Urrutia hit .431. The left-hander batted .240/.406/.280 in the 2001 Baseball World Cup, again serving as Cuba's main center fielder. He was 1 for 2 with a run in the Gold Medal game 5-3 win over Team USA before leaving for a pinch-hitter. During the 2001-2002 season, he batted .365/.430/.496 and was 7th in average. His 3 triples led the 2002 Super Liga.
Gómez played his final games for the national team in the 2002 Intercontinental Cup; the 22-year-old batted .269/.406/.346 with 8 runs in 9 games and was caught stealing in both of his attempts. He was 0 for 3 in the Gold Medal game; for only the second time in four international tournaments, his Cuban team won Gold.
Gómez batted .247/.307/.247 in reduced action in the 2002-2003 Serie Nacional. The young outfielder bounced back to .301/.369/.336 in 2003-2004. His 14 runs in the 2004 Super Liga tied Yoandy Garlobo for the lead. He played for the Cuban "B" team in the 2004 Haarlem Baseball Week and went 9 for 19 with 3 walks; he was second to Davide Dallospedale in average and OBP during the event.
In 2004-2005, the Industriales flyhawk batted .330/.419/.398. 2005-2006 was a big year in limited time as he hit .403/.481/.484 in 48 games. In 2006-2007, Yasser produced at a .330/.438/.388 rate. In the 2007 World Port Tournament, he was 3 for 13 with a walk and a double.
Gómez had a strong campaign in 2007-2008, hitting .394/.495/.511 to finish a career-high third in average behind Garlobo and Leonis Martin. He led the league with 8 sacrifice flies. He was left off the All-Star team as more well-rounded outfielders Alexei Bell, Alfredo Despaigne and Yoandry Urgellés were chosen. He was then excluded from Cuba's roster for the 2008 Olympics as they went with outfielders with significantly more power.
Gómez, along with Industriales teammate Yadel Martí, was banned from league play for 2008-2009 for rule violations (presumed to be an attempt to flee Cuba). In December 2008, ESPN's Spanish language division reported that the two had left the island.
- A History of Cuban Baseball by Peter Bjarkman
- Defunct IBAF site
- Assorted Baseball Almanacs
- 2005 Guia Official de Beisbol
- Harry Wedemeijer's international tourney stats
- Japanese Wikipedia entry