Gomez, 22, who was obtained from the New York Mets in the Carlos Santana trade and beat out more polished fellow minor leaguers Denard Spann and Jason Pridie, also will bat lead-off, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Tuesday. Gomez has impressed the Twins with his speed -- 10 stolen bases in spring training -- and his aggressive swing that has produced a .278 batting average in Grapefruit League play.
"He can ignite a baseball team; that's what we're looking for," said Manager Ron Gardenhire, who picked Gomez to fill the void left by Hunter, who left for Anaheim via free-agency. "If he does get on, he's going to steal a lot of bases. We know we're going to see some good and we're going to see some bad, but this young man is very, very talented."
"Each year, I try to make this team to the World Series," said Gomez, who hails from the Dominican Republic.