Ben Gamel, OF
if this guy were a Yankee, he'd be Int'l League POY


Bleeding Yankee Blue sees the deal as quite reasonable on New York's part:


Bad news coming out of Yankeeland.  Ben Gamel is gone.

Now this [stinks] because we were all pretty excited about one day seeing Gamel in pinstripes.  After all, the kid just named the International Player of the Year and he was really starting to break out. LoHud writes:

"Today, Gamel was named the Player of the Year in the International League. He was the league's top rookie last year, and this year he leads the League in runs scored (78), he's third in hits (148), fifth in stolen bases (19) and sixth in batting average (.309). He's a leadoff hitter who can play all three outfield spots, and the league's announcement of his selection notes his overwhelming consistency. His average against left-handed pitchers (.314) and right-handed pitchers (.307) is remarkably similar. Same for his batting average at home (.310) and away (.308). He hit .306 before the All-Star break, and he's hitting .314 since."

In return for Gamel, the Yankees get 2.  According to MLB Trade Rumors: "Shortly after Dierkes’ report, the teams announced the trade, adding that they’re sending right-handed pitchers Jio Orozco and Juan De Paula to the Yankees in return."

So there it is, Gamel is a Mariner.  Unbelievable, huh? I guess that's the joy and sorrow of the baseball waiver wire.


DiPoto characterizes Gamel as "having done all he can do in AAA," being a 3-position outfielder who is good at everything except homers.  So, you'd assume, elbows in front of Boog Powell as ML-ready center fielder / tweener / table setter.  He's versatile, young, and athletic, quoth DiPoto, checking the boxes that DiPoto set for the outfield but did not deploy in 2016.

Gamel hit .300/.360/.470 in AAA at age 23 and then repeated the league.  


First obvious question is whether Gamel is a Brett Gardner type.  We can always hope.  Based on videos like this one, his swing looks kind of like Ken Griffey Sr's to me... tall, relaxed, and then an explosion into quickness.  Short to the ball, long followthrough, without exceptional torque, good overspin.  Senior had a career OPS+ of 118 based on this kind of a template.  Plus, there's always the possibility of Gamel raising a kid.

Here's another smooth-then-slashing attack based on quickness through the zone.

Here's the best video I saw on his playing style.  The defensive vids are a lot of fun too.  Best thing about him, the fact that he's over-seasoned rather than rushed.  Leonys Martin hit .222/.287/.270 in August, so there are at least two places for him to play.  DiPoto's table-setting analogue to Vogelbach?  Worth a simoleon.


Dr D




His smooth start, then a short attack and the one handed follow-through reminded me of Gardner....but I'll take Ken Griffey Sr. quite nicely, thank you.  

I see two possibilites here:

#1 DiPoto went out and got his man.  A versatile, LHB 3 position OF (who does have CF chops), who gets on base, will develop some pop and hits righties/lefties (AAA) equally well.  Basically DiPoto went out and got a young Aoki, with some pop potential and a better glove (Aoki was a heck of a hitter in Japan with some pop)  So Gamel is a COF from Day 1 and moves to CF when Martin rests.  I see this as about a 75% shot.  Basically it will start tomorrow.

#2  Somebody else wanted Gamel and we want somebody they have so we're doing the trade dance.  20%

#3....well...I don't really buy this one and I said I only see two possibilites...but it could be more DiPoto spaghetti against the OF wall.  Not buying it.

So I think DiPoto is seeing Heredia as a 4th OF right now...he gets Tacoma time to start the '17 season.  

I'm betting that DiPoto sees this as akin to the Martin trade.  An upside glovey OF comes here for an arm (or arms) we could afford to move.  Says here that now we get a RHB who plays the OF.  With that.....We will be decently set for next far as bats and gloves are concerned.  Maybe add another versatile guy, too.  

Beeg Boy's picture

The M's outfield the last several years reminds me of Dancing With The Stars, shuffle them in, shuffle them out, try it all over again. One of these days one of these guys might stick. But until then I won't get too excited.


Thanks for chiming in.

Ya, you would think that once you had a Dodgers infield with Seager, Cano etc then you should be able to get a few bats into LF and RF.  Guess they've got it half right, but they're 40+ years in to their LF search...

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

...and they're drinking it dry.

Ellsbury, Gardner, and camel lights Judge, Hicks, McKinney, Frazier and low a top pick Rutherford all pushing for room at the well.

What is a poor camel named Gamel, who is out of options next year, to do?

I mean he was just named League ROY.  He leads off.  He steals bases. He can drink fom either side of the pool. His SO rate is just under 20 per cent. And he plays all 3 OF positions well.

He gets sent out into the desert where a sharp eyed opportunistic caravan rustler grabs him and it costs him a couple sacks of who knows what.

Oh, yeah, and the Yankees picked up old spitting camel Eric Young Jr. from Milwaukee, yesterday, where the brewery execs continue to clean out the zoo.

After a year of piling up prospects, the New Yorks realized they had to change the water supply, claim more water rights,  and buy some Depends.

Dromedary CarryAoki will be heading back to Japan with some of his hump intact.

Boog Powell will be checking his drool, and the League's med staff will be monitoring it.

Guti will be on a retreat.

And Smith may be available in a deal for a starting pitcher.

Heredia's "part time" Ariz Fall league play may keep him in Tacoma.

And Senor Cruz may be monitoring how much RF he is playing next year.

This is not the team DePoet inherited after Jackie Z turned into a mirage.

And it continues to improve, even after the last ten days making a detour from the playoffs due to a rough road.

Nonetheless, this jigsaw puzzle continues to become more than a three D vision.




With this move, the 2017 M's OF looks like Gamel, Martin, Cruz, and Heredia with veteran benchies of Smith, O'Malley and / or possibly Guti.

Then in Tacoma, the OF there will be O'Neill, Powell, Strausborger, some guy(s) like Robertson or Ramsey, and Pizzano, and even Deej is getting time in the OF now.

Now I highly doubt the OF line-up will scare anyone in the AL West, but Dipoto should have a lot of money to spend to fix the pitching... Isn't this how Jack Z started... almost make the playoffs the first year, coast the second year preaching pitching and defense, and then success???? 


His AAA numbers are .305/.360/.445.  Stefen Romero is a .300/.350/.515 hitter in AAA.  Romero is 3 years older, but Gamel has been in the minors since he was 18 and has more pro ABs than Romero.  People who are talking about him "breaking out" after nearly 3000 minor league plate appearances but don't trust Romero at all after several hundred fewer are weird to me.

Gamel's power regressed to the mean this year (he's only ever had one year with more than 6 homers, and that was last year's 10), and he'll be 25 next year so let's not expect another leap there.  He's got quicks but he's not a big base stealer.  He can play a more defensive position (CF) but not at an elite level.

Between him and Ketel Marte we're betting a lot on guys at glove positions with mediocre gloves who don't have power and who don't walk much (though Gamel walks more than Marte).  I see Gamel as an 85-90 OPS+ starter like Leonys Martin has been himself.  Notice how Leonys is around his career norms again?

For me this shapes up as two batters who are both gonna post .260/.310/.360 lines, and won't platoon with each other either. And as a bench bat and defensive backup, you overpaid.  


I don't get it.  Maybe he'll hit the same .300/.360/.410 in the bigs and be a hero in CF.  This is the sort of scouting call you make if you want to replace Martin, IMO, not find someone to play with him.  Other than saving $5 million on the difference in salaries I'm not sure how much better Gamel will be overall.

For the privilege of Martin we traded Wilhelmsen, who then bombed and came back.  Jones and Kivlehan went as well, and their careers cratered.  We believed they'd topped out and were proven right in the end (regardless of my reluctance to include Kivlehan in that deal).  Here we traded two minor league arms who had barely started.  If either man made a big impression in full-season ball next year their value would have skyrocketed.  As it is we're down two pieces that could have been used next year at the deadline and weakened our ability to move other useful pieces in DiPoto's ever-churning wheel of roster moves.

PI had Orozco as the #15 prospect, and De Paula around #20.  Tier-wise I only have two pitchers in the Ms top-tier: Neidert and Gohara. The next level down is for me is Littell, Moore, Yarbrough, Orozco, De Paula and Newsome (when LJay can get the homers under control). Odds are they'll all evaporate like mist under a noon sun, but the reason you have them all around is in case one of them DOESN'T go away. For me, the rest are all bullpen options but are unlikely to make the bigs in the rotation (pending further information, of course).  

So by trading for Gamel, we reduced the number of potential future starters in our system by 25%.  That, in turn, reduces our ability to trade any of the remaining pitchers with value.  Can you cough up Littell in a deal later when you know that there aren't any pitchers behind him who can turn into serious assets?  I tend to have a holistic approach to the minors and while the pain of a traded arm working out won't be felt for half a decade (because of the teenage nature of the arms that were moved) and those arms have to survive numerous hurdles to even GET to that point still, it hurts us in other ways.

If he Gamel works out as Martin-Plus, then this seems very fair, even biased in our direction by turning potential future talent into actual current talent.  If he works out as another Martin, then it all depends on what we get for Martin when we trade him.  If Gamel turns into a Romero-level immediate flop who then goes back to the minors and never turns into anything, it hurts.  Having two of the three options work out to be at least neutral means you should do the deal in principle.

Our farm being as weak as it is makes me leery of doing 2-for-1s for what I view as bench players or scrub major leaguers.  We got a stop-loss and traded two potential Somethings for one capped-out Averagething, IMO.  The move doesn't hurt DiPoto, because he won't be here if the team is still Playoff-absent in 5 years. I'll just hope it also helps the Mariners.


Jerry does like his depth and he's been hunting for a table setter since he got here.

I'm with you, though. A 2016 OF rotation including Martin, Gamel and Heredia would likely be really, really bad offensively. One glove-only CF and two slap-hitting rookies? It only makes sense of Jerry brings in a good, established corner OF to provide some offense. Unfortunately, there aren't many of those guys available and getting one via FA or trade is going to be very expensive. 


But if we intend for him to spend the first part of next year beating up on AAA pitchers before his callup (and conveniently saving us a year of service time) then we'll need some OF coverage for earlier in the year.  It could always be Cruz for a few weeks. but Cruz and the Glovettes is not a great show for a longer period of time, and we have to assume some struggles for Tank - even though we hope he comes out of the gate like Springer.

Tank's age 21 season this year looked a lot like Springer's age 22 season, so that'd be great for us if their early careers matched up too.  Tank might be another year away if we want him to take it slow though, and even if he wasn't can we run a 3-rookie OF out there with Gamel and Heredia? Which brings us back to your point about adding another vet OF (and me wondering why we traded for Gamel again when he doesn't solve that issue).  We could always sign Michael Saunders back, I guess...

The offense of 2018 - if things break right for the kids - should have Vogelbach at DH/1B and O'Neill in the OF, with Lewis aiming for a 2019 full-season debut.  There aren't any other significant hitters in our minors I expect to see on the big-league club getting full-time at-bats, unless we're swapping out Marte for another non-hitter in Drew Jackson or the like.  How we plan to integrate those guys into the lineup while still succeeding during their growing pains is a big deal. I don't really see how Gamel helps with that either.

Can somebody sneak me a look at the plan for how to get from "borderline playoff contention" to "playoff successes while turning the roster over to new young players" please?


From a 186,000-mile view, the teenaged starting pitching has a ways to go to get to the leagues and be healthy and effective.  DiPoto gets back a so-called AAA Player of the Year; in a generic template it seems a reasonable price to pay.

But the SP's are more talented than we realize (your view) or the AAA guy is going to translate better than we realize (DiPoto's view), which makes a ball game.

Not a big fan of stockpiling a long series of slash-hitting COF's.


"I was not overly impressed with any of the arms we got before Yovan at 32, and I don't think we can sign Yovan (editor's note: we didn't). No TOR guys, no young arms with growth potential, just a couple of small school arms we're hoping can fill out into BOR arms or bullpen contributors. We apparently felt there was a lack of college scrub arms for emergencies in the system and went about getting that fixed."

We drafted essentially zero future major-league starters this year, which means we don't have more De Paulas and Orozcos on the immediate horizon to re-stock those top two pitching tiers before next draft.  And we don't have an exorbitant amount of minor league hitters to trade for new arms either, since most of ours are utility guys.  Our heavy hitters are O'Neill with his strikeout issue to offset his massive talent, Lewis with his blown ACL and Vogelbach with his "I'll be a DH soon" body.  

The other guys are glove dudes we're hoping can hit a little or former big-time prospects who've stumbled for a couple of years and knocked the shine off their value.  Meanwhile all of our big-league rotation pieces have injury issues and our best replacement piece for that is now our closer.  DiPoto has some work to do putting the pipeline back together, and Gamel feels like a deck chair addition for the offense.  

Luckily he's smarter than me, and we have plenty of time to fill in our 2021 pitching rotation with other good players.  If the minor league guys would simply fulfill their promise and draft status that would make the talent situation much more bearable.  Fingers crossed we got the tutelage thing figured out that Jack Z could never master. Andrew Moore can feel free to continue his journey into becoming a right-handed Mark Buehrle...


Gardner hit 9 HRs (total) in 1774 MiLB PA's.  He had MLB years with 17 and 16.  Even figuring for the Yankee stadium RF short porch (he's hit 41 home HR's and 22 away) his pop significantly improved....and he's my template for now.  Griffey Sr. topped out at 14 AA HR's and 10 AAA taters.  He was a no pop hitter when he came up and developed some.

BTW, I just found something cool:  If you go to the B-R Griffey Sr. page, here the first article linked under the heading of Player News is this exact page.....the one you're on right now.  (it's also on the Gamel page)

Pretty cool.

I'm more optimistic than G on Gamel's MLB line next year....or the year after:  .280-.330-.400.  As such, he's Seth Smith with no need for a platoon     and a plus glove.  Smith's AAA numbers (Colorado Springs and the hitter friendly PCL) were .321-.400-.527.  Gamel's, in the more pitcher friendly IL, are .304-.361-.447.   

Gerardo Parra or Mark Kotsay.  Denard Span, maybe (AAA .281-.345-.378, in the IL).  A way better Boog Powell. 

The Aoki we were hoping to get. 

The glove premium (with the ability to go to CF) makes him a good get.  I'm sure that is a big part of the attraction.....and the vL ability, too.

No way DiPoto thinks he's getting a 4th OF.  I like this move. I think we go get a RHB COF....and I wouldn't be surprised if we pay for that by not reupping Smith.  Heredia is starting in Tacoma next year.


The Royals built their outfield around fast dudes who could hit enough, and that was their plan on the bases too.  Not many lumbering hulks, just a lot of fast guys who didn't clog the basepaths and who could go out and Make Things Happen.  In Gamel's favor, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is about as much of a pitcher's park as Tacoma, so he's not coming from a bandbox into the soul-killing deathfest that is Safeco in April.  Gamel did his damage in a reasonable environment for judging these things.

I would take a Denard Span, or as I said before a Randy Winn. Randy and Denard are both more valuable in CF though.  Playing those guys on a corner has to be a stop-gap - or your CF needs to be a baller.  Martin = not a baller, and Lewis isn't gonna be ready in the immediate future.  Other CFs in the system like Bishop are abysmal.

So we'll hope Gamel is a Randy Winn type.  There are worse things.


Aside from Brett Gardner and Ken Griffey Sr ... more recently, Lorenzo Cain (113 OPS+ last three years), Michael Brantley (.316/.379/487 last 3 years with only 35 homers), Mookie Betts path, Christian Yelich, Starling Marte, Hunter Pence, Dexter Fowler, etc.

It's not especially rare these days to make an impact with your bat, hitting 14 homers.  I do like the way that Gamel swings the bat.


Martin ran a 2.0 dWAR in Texas....but is only at 0.2 with Seattle.  Weird, huh.  I've thought about the CF premium, too.  Is there any chance that Gamel is our CF next year....and that Martin is traded?  I don't see it.....but have pondered it today.

M's announced today (I think) that O'Neill will play in the Arizona Fall League.  Heredia, too...on a two day a week basis.  G, what would you say to a Romero bump to Safeco, now that the 1st is here, and an O'Neill ticket to Tacoma?

I would like that a lot.

G, you certainly are more adept than I at projecting guys forward....but I do like guys in the Gamel template.....I am hoping that I have the template right.


They left O'Neill in AA all year, and the Generals made the playoffs, so there's no real reason to promote him.  I expect him to see it through with his teammates in Jackson this year and take on Tacoma next season.

And I dunno that a Romero promotion is in the cards.  Maybe 50/50.  They've got lots of bodies to throw at the OF right now, so if Romero does get up I dunno how much actual game time he'll see.  He's not really a defensive-replacement type.

The Ms did just take Scribner off the DL, so that's another pen arm who can blow games for us at least.


I'm still waiting to see where exactly Gamel falls on that spectrum.  I prefer doubles-and-walks guys, because it gives them something to fall back on if the average drops.  And I doubly prefer that template in CF and not on a corner.  But corner OF who hit like that can absolutely have value.  A walk rate of 7.8% is completely respectable.  Randy Winn's minor league walk rate was 9.3 percent, which is a bit higher but not drastically so.  Denard's was 8.8%.  Smith was 9.1% and improved to 10.6% in the bigs - but he has more power obviously.  Randy Winn also had more power than I expect Gamel to show.  Gardner's minor league walk rate was 13.6% (and was a reason I had him on my desired trade-for list before he finished putting it together), so I'm not sure about that comp for him with Gamel.

Kotsay didn't play much in the minors but his pro walk rate is basically identical to Gamel's minor league one. Gamel strikes out more, but otherwise they're pretty similar.  Kotsay was a top-10 pick who, honestly, probably underperformed his hoped-for level, but I'd be thrilled to get a mid-20s Kotsay in here.  Let's hope that happens.

I have him in the Alex Rios camp, but I REALLY don't expect that power to come in. Rios with half the homers comes out looking more like Jacoby Ellsbury at the high point, which would be great if you were getting his roid year of 30+ homers... but ya don't.  Now unroided-Ellsbury as an ultimate upside is still fine, and sometimes those guys actually turn into Ellsbury or Kenny Lofton or Jose Altuve.  A lot of times they're Scott Podsednik, who needed some luck to be able to stick around a long time as a pinch runner and defensive replacement once people figured out he wasn't ever gonna hit.

 There's a reason guys like Melky Cabrera juice.  Their template with a bit of extra hitting and power racks up the WAR.  Without it, the knife-edge between a long pro career and being a replacement player is tough to walk.  Stefen Romero fell on the other side unless he somehow gets rescued and manages to perform immediately.  Being able to tell one from the other is a tough thing.

Gamel's gonna get his shot, but the opportunities to be more than a benchie aren't gonna be available to him for long, so I hope he hits the ground running. C'mon, Kotsay...


I thought about him...but he's so all over the place ("juicy" and current and in-between) it's hard to get which one he "is."  Take 6 or 7 homers from the '14 Ellsbury and that is the guy e might have.  I'll be dead surprised if he's not in the lineup tomorrow.


I like the idea of Gamel at least.   Do we need COF to hit HR?  I still prefer the Winn/Cameron/Ichiro type outfield for Safeco, personally.  I don't think Martin is Cameron and don't think Gamel is Winn exactly but it's a start.  The M's aren't currently a team that needs HR or MOTO bats in the corners though.  Getting on base should be enough.  There's power at 2b, 3b, DH/RF, 1b and C now.



3 Cano DH/RF

4 Cruz 2B

5 Seager 3B

6 Acquisition 1b/Lee? Zunino C?

7 Vogelbach 1b?



put Marte and Martin in there somewhere, 1b might be 'Bach, then you've got 2 Corners to fit in.   Where do you want them and what do you need?  I don't think HR would be a part of my answer. 


Thanks Wish...I was worried I was the only guy who ever had typos!! :)

Bet we look something like:

Gamel LF/RF Martin CF Seager 3B Marte SS Cano 2B Vogelbach 1B Cruz DH Zunino C....which leaves us a RHB RF (or 1B if Cruz is RF and V-Bach DH) short of a load.

Cano hits 3rd, Cruz 4th Seager 5th.....take your pick from there.  Vogelbach has played 41 games (I think) for the Rainiers....23 of them at 1B and 18 at DH.  But lately he's been almost exclusively at 1B.  I think that is where we would like him.....and Cruz at DH.


Cruzat 2nd with Cano at DH of RF...

I see that 3-5 are covered, 6-9 there are options that make sense but 1-2 we've only got maybe's.  More maybe's is a good thing.  A legitimate leadoff hitting RF with a decent glove might top my wishlist this offseason but there's a pile of possibilities at least.  One acquisition and one maybe making it and 1-2 are covered.  That's really what this lineup has been missing and is still doing very well. 


His 2015 stats are intriguing.  2016 not so much.   He did lead the league with 14 triples in 2015.  In a search for other possible comparisons I checked for others with double digit triples in the international league the past 10 years.   Austin Jackson, Curtis Granderson, Starling Marte, Brett Gardner, Desmond Jennings, Shane Victorino and Angel Pagan make up about half the list with a couple AAAA looking guys more recently and the rest out of baseball.  Some of them were just flat better overall players but the already mentioned Jennings and Starling Marte both seem to have similar stats on the surface.  Marte was even about the same on base stealing in the minors as Gamel while striking out more and walking less.  There's hope.

Hmmm, Edgar played alongside Sr. (shortly) and can imitate swings.  There's some possibility that Edgar is the perfect coach to help Gamel with keeping his swing together.

Either way I even had spaghetti for dinner.

(Edited to add;)

We will find a Jason Heyward, why pay that much for one?  And look at the year he's having. 

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