Brewer Spotlight

Getting to Know Ben Gamel

A high-yield, quick read that is designed to summarize Ben Gamel’s evolution as a Big Leaguer. BREW MATHs ‘mines the data’ to see how Gamel might help The 2019 Milwaukee Brewers… get to know the 2016 International League MVP!


Bats: L, Throws: L / 5-11, 185# / Outfielder

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CAREER TRENDS

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  • LEFT: As Gamel progresses, his plate production (wOBA) and quality of contact improve (BABIP over a large sample size)
  • RIGHT: The rate stats all trend in the right direction
    • K% goes down
    • BB% ‘levels out’ above average
    • On-base percentage (OBP) steadily rises
  • Gamel did not play as much last year for multiple reasons:
    • Denard Span was acquired in a mid-season trade
    • He was out the first three weeks of the season with an oblique strain

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  • Ben Gamel is very good at hitting fastballs (of all varieties)
    • He is not good at hitting breaking / offspeed stuff (but he seems to be getting better!):

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  • Gamel also struggles against left-handed pitching (and therefore is not often used against LHP):
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Vs. Left-Handed Pitching

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Vs. Right-Handed Pitching


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PLATE DISCIPLINE

Follow LINK for BREW MATHsummary of Plate Discipline

 

  • LEFT: Gamel is making contact at a higher rate as time goes on
  • RIGHT: BG is whiffing (swinging and missing) progressively less

BATTED BALL STATs

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  • Line drive percentage (LD%) is consistently above league average and is now sharply on the rise. His career exit velocities echo a similar trend:

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Overall, Gamel is a pretty good at protecting the zone and only struggles with pitches in the lower portions:

 

Keep in mind: Gamel is a left-handed hitter and would be standing on the RIGHT side of these boxes (catcher’s view)

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COMPARISONs

Fun to note… Statcast uses career numbers to identify players statistically similar to Gamel, as follows:

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Gamel will be trying to fill Domingo Santana’s shoes. This is how the two compare in wOBA, based on age (TOP) and season (BOTTOM):

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INTERPRETATIONS / CONCLUSIONs

  • Gamel’s sample size is relatively small over his three-year career but large enough to give us some confidence what we are looking at is predictive.
  • Gamel has shown flashes of potential but has been limited by injuries and a crowded outfield (there won’t be much room in Milwaukee either)
  • When Gamel gets steady reps, he produces at a respectable clip – he clearly is talented and plays with high energy
    • Check out his 2017 stats (found at top) when he got regular playing time!
  • He’s GOOD at hitting fastballs & against righties
    • He’s POOR at hitting breaking stuff & against lefties
  • His plate discipline, contact and batted ball stats are all steadily improving across his three-year pro career
  • While Gamel is still learning, there should not be a big drop-off from Santana.
    • He probably will be utilized in a similar fashion, splitting time between The Bigs and AAA. He is younger, cheaper and faster
      • His speed and hustle translate on the field. He makes highlight reel catches look routine
  • The Milwaukee Brewers head into 2019 with an embarrassment of riches…

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