Yankees Call Up Ben Gamel

With Alex Rodriguez sidelined with a hamstring injury and Brett Gardner‘s elbow barking, the Yankees have called up outfielder Ben Gamel from Triple-A to take his spot on the roster. At the moment, it isn’t clear how much Gamel will play. Although they’ve struggled this year, bot Aaron Hicks and Dustin Ackley have established track records in the big leagues, and may inherit most of A-Rod’s and Gardner’s at-bats — at least for now. Still, Gamel could come in handy as a reserve outfielder. He can play all three outfield spots, and although he isn’t a burner, he runs well enough to be a pinch-running option.

As a prospect, Gamel looks an awful lot like a future reserve outfielder. He’s hit well since he arrived in Triple-A last year, but his 20% strikeout rate suggests he’ll have trouble replicating last year’s .300 batting average in the big leagues. And although he posted double-digit homers and steals in Triple-A last year, neither his power and speed are stand-out tools. As a result, KATOH projected him for just 2.2 WAR over the next 6 years, which ranked 12th among Yankees prospects.

Here are the newest Yankees’ statistical comps:

Ben Gamel’s Mahalanobis Comps
Rank Name Proj. WAR Actual WAR
1 Alex Ramirez 1.2 0.1
2 Mike Ryan 0.8 0.9
3 Xavier Paul 1.3 0.5
4 Tony Mota 1.2 0.0
5 Ricky Ledee 2.4 1.3
6 Nigel Wilson 0.7 0.1
7 Tike Redman 1.1 2.7
8 Jim Edmonds 1.0 19.7
9 Danny Clyburn 1.0 0.0
10 Shawn Hare 1.4 0.0

So that’s Ben Gamel. He’s an undersized (5-foot-10) outfielder with no real weakness, but also no standout tool — unless you count his 80-grade hair. Gamel isn’t particularly exciting, but then again, nothing about the 2016 Yankees has been particularly exciting. At least we have a new face to look at.

About Chris

Chris works in economic development by day, but spends most of his nights thinking about baseball. He writes for Pinstripe Pundits, and is an occasional user of the twitter machine: @_chris_mitchell
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