Mat Gamel was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth round of the 2005 MLB Draft from Bishop Kenney HS in Jacksonville, FL. He didn’t disappoint in his first year of action, as he slashed .311/.369/.477 in 244 plate appearances in two leagues (Rookie, A).
Gamel came up as a third baseman and struggled with the glove, managing a fielding percentage of only .886 over his minor league career. But the Brewers liked his left-handed bat and he would put up two of the top 25 minor league hitting seasons in Brewers history.
#25 Mat Gamel, 2008 Huntsville (AA)
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At first glance, Gamel’s season might not appear that spectacular, but he earns bonus points for being a 22-year-old in a league with an average age of 24. But that gets offset by a slight penalty for playing in Huntsville, which played as a bit of a hitter’s park that year.
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Thanks to stats provided by our good friends at Baseball Reference.com, we found that Gamel had four hitting streaks of ten games or more, including a season-high 16-game skein. The southpaw slugger banged out multiple hits in 48 games, including a five-hit performance and a pair of four-hit contests.
Gamel absolutely killed the first three months of the season, slashing .383/.446/.639 in 332 ABs. He didn’t fare so well the final two months, hitting only .231 (46 hits/199 AB).
Despite the drop-off, Gamel earned a call-up to AAA Nashville in late August and had a three-hit game while hitting .238 in 21 ABs.
From there he had a cup of coffee with Milwaukee, playing two games for the big club and banging out his first major league hit against San Diego.
Overall, his season was pretty impressive. He hit .316 against righties, while pounding lefties at a .350 clip over 177 plate appearances. Gamel’s home/road split was .303/.350. He also proved himself as a clutch hitter, slashing .316/.414/.421 in 111 at-bats with two outs, RISP.
‘Mat the Bat’ finished second in the Southern League in hitting behind teammate Angel Salome, second in hits, and fourth in slugging. He led the league in runs batted in and total bases.
Gamel also played in the 2008 Futures Game, playing for the US squad. He drew a pair of walks in two plate appearances.
After playing the next three seasons in the minors, Gamel bumped up to the bigs but his success never translated to the big leagues and has only 269 plate appearances in parts of five seasons, the last being 2012.
Two knee surgeries over the last couple years has all but ended his career. He was picked up by the Yankees in early March but was released just nine days later.
It appears that the once-promising career of Mat Gamel has come to an end.