Last off-season the Milwaukee Brewers made a number of moves, including adding outfielder Ben Gamel to the roster in a trade with the Seattle Mariners. Today we take a look at how the 2019 went for the speedy outfielder.
Back in January, I discussed how Ben Gamel was undervalued by the Mariners and could potentially thrive with the Milwaukee Brewers.
It might still be too early to tell on those predictions since Gamel primarily played as the fourth outfielder of the bench and made starts as needed. With that said, we got a glimpse of his potential in 2019.
Regular Season: B-
While a few players started the season off slow, Gamel was electric, going .280/.390/.420 in April. In 24 games he had 14 hits, including five extra base hits and was playing great in the outfield while covering for Christian Yelich, who had an early season back injury and Ryan Braun who had started the season really slow.
Gamel continued his strong play in May, hitting .267/.333/.427/.760 with three doubles, three homers, and 10 RBIs in 25 games.
Prior to the All-Star break, Gamel was right in line with his career batting average and was playing strong defense in relief of Ryan Braun, who would routinely be removed late in games to boost the defense with the speedy Gamel.
Post All-Star break, while Gamel continued to play regularly, the dog days of summer took a toll on his as his batting average dipped and the Milwaukee Brewers offense became stagnant. With the addition of Trent Grisham on August 1st, Gamel saw his role reduce as he got only 34 at bats in August and a total of 85 in August and September combined.
Gamel was demoted to Triple-A briefly at the end of August, making room for Cory Spangenberg, but was quickly moved back up on Sept. 1st.
Gamel went 0-1 in the Wild card game after coming in to play left field. His deep fly out to center ended the game and the season for the Brewers, just missing a potential go-ahead homer on the bat.
Gamel has his best season since 2017 in part because he got opportunities to play this season and stayed on the major league roster all season. He was just shy of a lot of his career highs, while getting almost 200 less at bats. His .248 batting average was just below his career average, but his .710 OPS was right on track with his career OPS. He also had a career high in walks which was a positive for the free swinging Gamel.
The big things to remember with Gamel is he has just turned 27, still has three seasons of team control ahead of him and still has a minor league option. So the Brewers most likely see him as part of the organization into the future.