Burning question: Carlos Gomez

The question about Prince Fielder's future with the team is probably the hardest one the front office will have to address in Doug Melvin's tenure. (At least it should be, even though I'm convinced we're going to make a franchise-crippling offer to Fielder anyway.) That got me thinking about, of all people, Carlos Gomez.

The 2010 lineup seems about set, and I'm mostly content with the way things are shaping up...except for Gomez. IMHO, even for as good a fielder he is, I think a centerfielder ought to have an OPS of .700 before you pencil him in as a starter on a playoff caliber team. Gomez has never had an OPS higher than .653 in his young career, and finished up last season at .623. In the offense-minded PCL of AAA, he OPSed .714, for a major-league equivalent of .590. I haven't seen him play, but it sure seems like he makes a lot of outs, both in the field but also at the plate.

Putting finances and everything else aside, and focusing solely on the idea that GoGo is our Centerfielder of the Future: would it be in the best interest of the organization, in terms of GoGo's development, to have him at least start 2010 in AAA? Are we assuming that he will OPS .650 with us? If we're expecting better performance at the plate, what is the basis for that optimistic outlook? The magic of Dale Sveum? His own maturity as a player?

Anyway, I'd like to hear what the rest of the BCB community thinks. For better or for worse, GoGo is likely our 2010 centerfielder --- I wonder if we're doing our franchise a disservice by making him so.