"Gamer" now part of the nickname rotation per Matty's recommendation. Gamer's mental errors went, the arrogance stayed. He's got a wonderful combo of dirt dog and "I got this." A unique personality on the TV screen.
Baseball-reference, sorted by OPS+, shows the four stars and Ben Gamel doing great. Everybody else doing fine. (For the sake of precision, Kyle Seager's OPS+ also looks only "fine" but he's rounding into form here.)
Watching a baseball game, of all things a man might choose to do with his time, we happened across the sight of a beardless Gamel inside-out'ing a fliner to left field today. This was the polar-opposite hitting skill from his startup flurry of ropes down the 1B line and it reinforced the general impression that the lad is good at baseball. His BB's and K's project to about 75:165 in a full season, which would make him ... what we we thought Dan Vogelbach was going to be, if Vogs' power didn't develop and if Vogs could run like a zebra. Remember, the original pipe dream was for Ben Gamel to have on our behalf what Brett Gardner had at age 25 for the Yankees when Gardner was getting his feet set for AL pushing and shoving. So here we sit:
|Lithe, strong, fleet OF
||AB + BB
|Brett Gardner 2009
||Epic, they say (+15, 20 runs/year)
||The standard against which all non-star OF's are judged
|Ben Gamel 2017
||Can be presumed to be plus (=0 so far by stats)
||Guess here is: 2,500+ AB's in the bigs
Gamel STILL has a fish rate of only 19.7% and it's not because the bat is glued to his shoulder; his swing rate on strikes is 61%. If it stuck, that would be pretty close to the best strike "filter" in the game of baseball. Read that last sentence again very literally. What the best is, Gamel is pretty close to it.
On the other hand, Gamel doesn't really have elite hand-eye coordination, which Gardner does. Gamel is clean-missing around 10% of his swings, a little better than Major League average (which is like saying your cousin shoots the basketball a little better than NBA average). And he sure doesn't LOOK like he's that hard to whuff based on the misses Dr. D has seen him whuff. But from what he's seen, Gamel can drive the ball with more authority than Brett Gardner did, is rather scarier at the plate. Especially if you adjust for the fact that "old players' skills" are to hit the ball with ever-increasing authority and Gamel is still getting his legs under him.
All told, Gamel is providing a rotation outfielder in the same GENERAL mold that Gardner did in 2009. But having seen 100+ at-bats I'd move off that comparison and look for a little bigger, slower "Tween" outfielder.
We saw today that Ben Gamel shaved his beard, just in the spirit of re-booting, which every big league player does three or four times a year. My own re-boot would have less to do with beards and more to do with using all those first-pitch takes to "guess" a very certain pitch and put the fear of Zeus into some pitchers early in the count.
I never really got that, did you? If you're the type of hitter to take the first pitch, why not "spend" that pitch guessing a curve ball, or an inside fastball, cheat on that, and still wind up taking 90% of the time? Could RockiesJeff or somebody explain that one?
Footnote: what has been the outcome on that "fly ball revolution" we visited a month back? Seems to have faded a bit for this particular player, in keeping with James' general prediction that it will recede as pertains to the industry in general. In Gamel's case, the Mainframe for nowwill gingerly plump for the option "probably won't be his big thing going forward." We favor the explanation of "age 25 with pedigree," the explanation that he's getting seasoned out a bit and looks good for the future.
Gamel has performed well as a baseball player in the minor leagues, and he's performing well at age 25 in the major leagues. He isn't looking like Mitch Haniger exactly. But as a 4th outfielder behind Mitch Haniger, he ain't exactly our problem right now :- )
M's -4.5 out of the Wild Card, which is right now the Orioles, two games over .500. Baltimore's magic number is 109 to eliminate us, so I'm still gonna watch Paxton's game Wednesday if it's all the same to youse.