Every year there is a Brewer player with little to no expectations that stands out and becomes a fan favorite. In 2008 it was Gabe Kapler. 2011 had one of the most remembered Brewers of this last decade in T-Plush aka, Nyjer Morgan. 2013 had Scooter Gennett and last year it was Hernan Perez who stole the fan’s hearts. For the 2019 season, one player may have already stepped up to become the new fan favorite. Maybe it’s because he looks like he should be on the show, Game of Thrones, or maybe it’s because he’s a solid player but Ben Gamel has emerged as a loved Milwaukee Brewer.
The younger brother of once top Brewer prospect, Mat Gamel, Ben has shown he can be a respectable platoon player in Milwaukee’s lineup. As a 10th round pick by the Yankees out of Bishop Kenney High School in Jacksonville, Florida, Gamel has always had something to prove. He was never seen as a great prospect by New York and that is why he was traded to Seattle for starting pitching prospects, Juan De Paula and Jio Orozco, both of whom have yet to see the MLB. Once he was in Seattle, he battled for a spot on the roster until he became a starter in 2017. In fact, up to this point 2017 has been Gamel’s best of his career where he batted .275 in 509 at-bats. He even added in 27 doubles and 11 home runs. Coming out of that season he was being compared to Toronto’s former standout outfielder, Kevin Pillar, who is now on the San Francisco Giants.
The Brewers acquired Ben Gamel after trading Domingo Santana for him and a prospect last offseason. Gamel started the season on a high note for Milwaukee because from April 7th through April 19th, Gamel hit .333 with an OPS of .865. He has also had a nice month of May. In Milwaukee’s first 7 games of May, Gamel was on fire. He was hitting .357 with an OPS of almost .800. Since then, he had cooled off at the plate until May 26th where he went 2-5 with 2 home runs and 3 RBIs. These little spurts in both April and May prove that Ben Gamel can get hot and be productive at the plate.
Through 50 games, Gamel is hitting .260 with an OBP of .352 as a platoon player for the Crew. He has also added 6 doubles, 4 home runs, 14 RBIs, and 21 runs. He scores about 15% of the time he goes to the plate. Sure, these numbers are not necessarily eye popping but they are very good for somebody who doesn’t get into the rhythm of an everyday player. Who knows, later in the season Milwaukee might have to rely on this new fan favorite the same way they did Nyjer Morgan.
***Stats accurate as of 7:00 p.m., 5/28/19 courtesy of baseball-reference.com***