Since I usually have nothing better to do than punch in numbers, I decided to begin looking for statistical comparisons for a few of the Rays hitters; beginning with Jonny Gomes. I'll use a number of comparisons that I've seen, thought of, or just wanted to throw in, the purpose is finding out who's now...wait, wrong show, but we're trying to find out who matches up the best with our rather young lads.'
Jonny Gomes comparables: Gorman Thomas, Jay Buhner, Greg Vaughn, Tim Salmon, Rob Deer and Nick Swisher; I tried keeping the players as close to contemporary as possible, but felt that Gorman Thomas was a must, partially because Gorman is a great name. Here are the vitals of each of the players, although it's not a deal breaker if they're shorter, fatter, skinnier, taller whatever, it does add some level of depth to the comparison if the pair are somewhat resembling in stature:
Gomes 6-1, 205
Thomas 6-2, 210
Buhner 6-3, 205
Vaughn 6-0, 195
Salmon 6-3, 220
Deer 6-3, 210
Swisher 6-0, 195
Below are each of the players' first three seasons in which they played more than 100 games. It just so happened that most of the ages matched up to the point where I got tired of typing the same number again and again. The row in green is Gomes stats, the yellow row is the season in which I think his mimics or he compares to the best.
As you see there isn't one clear comparison to be made through statistical comparison, but looking at each of the players stats he matches up with, and what they did after those three seasons it encourages us that Gomes won't flame out like Thomas or Deer, meaning he'll at least hold some value through his 30's, although I'd put the odds that he stays even with the guy I've pegged him with, which as you know I'm obsessed with my own, Nick Swisher at a lower payout than say...Zod becoming our president next year.
Gomes has better contact skills than most of those listed, specifically Swisher, Thomas, and Vaughn, but doesn't walk nearly as much as he did his first season, perhaps that's due to his less than superfluous ability to hit the breaking pitch, any breaking pitch.