The Milwaukee Brewers have had several hyped prospects come through their minor league system. However, there were a bunch that did not pan out. Here are five Brewers prospects who never saw the big league success most imagined.
Prospect hype is a dangerous game. You can look at the scouting reports and the video and think that your team has the next Clayton Kershaw or Mike Trout coming through the minor league system. You can imagine them having all sorts of success at the big league level, and in some cases, the team clears the way at the big league level for these prospects to take over. Look at what the Brewers did for Keston Hiura.
With Keston Hiura shooting his way through the minor league system, hype surrounding him grew almost every day. The Brewers cleared the way for him in the middle of 2019 and so far, he’s lived up to the hype.
But for every Keston Hiura that realizes his potential, there are at least five prospects who never come close. Let’s take a look at five Brewers prospects that never lived up to the hype surrounding them.
1. Mat Gamel
The elder brother of current Brewers outfielder Ben Gamel was the heir apparent at first base after Prince Fielder signed his massive contract in free agency. We knew Fielder was likely to leave, and it was finally time for Gamel to take over.
Mat Gamel had been making cameo appearances in the big leagues since 2008, including getting a 61 game stint in 2009. Primarily a third baseman, Gamel spent several years in Triple-A, just waiting for a big league opportunity. He started playing more first base in 2011, and became the starting first baseman in 2012 after Fielder left.
We had seen good things from him, and heard good things about his ability, and he was finally getting a chance to play every day. Then, on May 1, 2012 against the Padres, Gamel was chasing down a foul pop up and tore his ACL, which ended his season.
Gamel was hitting .246 with one homer and six RBIs at the time of his injury.
Then in 2013, as he was set to return from injury and take the starting first base job once again, he tore his ACL again in spring training. He never played another game in affiliated baseball.
He played in 2015 in independent ball with Somerset and Camden, but hit .185 that season and hung up his spikes after that.
Gamel was once thought to be the future at first base for the Milwaukee Brewers, and instead ended his big league career with just 240 at-bats and a .229/.305/.367 slash line. Injuries derailed his career before it could really get started.