BBB Top Prospect Countdown #25: Ben Gamel
While the Yankees have their major league outfield set with Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, the depth behind them is largely unsettled. Top prospect Aaron Judge is still working on the finer points of his game down in Scranton while prospects Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams have already seen time in the Bronx. Behind this group there aren’t many inspiring names but one outfielder that will look for a role in the majors is 23 year old Ben Gamel.
|Photo Via RiverAveBlues|
After the Yankees drafted Gamel out of high school in the 10th round of the 2010 draft, he did well in his first 3 years in the minors, with an overall batting average of .291. At 5’11, Gamel has translated his speed from high school to pro ball as he has averaged 14 stolen bases per season. After making the jump from Tampa to Trenton, Gamel struggled to find his earlier form as he hit .239 with an OBP of .282. After spending a full season in Trenton as the regular left fielder the following year, the Florida product improved his overall game with an average of .261 and 31 doubles in 131 games.
Gamel’s best season in the minors came this past year in Triple A Scranton where he was named International League Rookie of the Year and a International League All Star. Gamel looked to finally put it all together as he had a slash line of .300/.358/.472. Serving as the team’s leadoff hitter, Gamel provided power and speed, hitting 10 home runs, driving in 64 runs and swiping 13 bases.
Even with his fantastic 2015 season, Gamel didn’t receive a September call-up, simply because it made more sense to use a spot for an extra arm or pinch runner. However, he was added to the 40-man roster after the season to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, so it’s clear the Yankees want to keep him around. Unfortunately for Gamel, he is buried on the depth chart behind the likes of Aaron Judge, Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams. Judge figures to reach the Bronx at some point later this season while Heathcott and Williams will more than likely serve as bench pieces or depth for injuries.
With the Yankees outfield being crowded and being low on the depth chart, Gamel will probably never have the chance to become a starter in the Bronx and will likely end up as the 4th outfielder of a MLB team. If Gamel can produce at the level he did in 2015, he will again be Scranton Wilkes-Barre’s best player and potentially be in line for a September call-up. If the Yankees can’t find a spot for him on the Major League squad, he will stay put in Scranton or serve as a potential trade piece. Regardless, Gamel will serve as a starting outfielder at the beginning of the 2016 season for Triple A Scranton.
You can check out Gamel’s full minor league stats here.
Article: Phil Akre
Follow me on twitter @PhilAkre
Follow the BBB on twitter @BronxBomberBlog