New York Yankees outfield prospect, Ben Gamel, has been promoted from AAA Scranton and will be in uniform for the team tonight in Baltimore. The lefty outfielder is not as highly touted as top prospect, Aaron Judge, but has hit his way into an opportunity shortly after being added to the 40 man roster.
Brett Gardner‘s elbow injury yesterday could be more serious and the team may play Gamel frequently with Carlos Beltran shifted over to DH in place of the injured Alex Rodriguez. Aaron Hicks is expected to take over one of the outfield positions full time and Gamel may take the other depending on the severity of Gardner’s injury.
Gamel is considered somewhere between 10-15 on the Yankees’ prospect list but has hit everywhere he’s gone including a: .286/.346/.709 line to start the year in AAA. Last season, Gamel finished a full season in Scranton with a .300/.358/.830 line to go with 10 home runs and 14 triples in 129 games. Gamel can steal bags as well and could provide a young and athletic spark to a mostly dormant offense, with 82 minor league steals to go with a career .284/.341 career minor league line.
Gamel is still only 23-years-old and has been in the Yankees’ system since 2010 and while not being considered elite in anything, is the newest version of a Slade Heathcott type, a player who can play solid defense, run and hit. Gamel could be a fourth outfielder long-term with the club but will be able to prove himself immediately while Judge still develops. He has very likely surpassed every other Yankees’ outfielder on the prospect list.
The Yankees hope Gamels’ left handed bat and glove project well in right field and with a short right field porch in Yankee Stadium and Hicks will likely take over left field with a plus arm, right handed throw and more ground to cover. With Aroldis Chapman due back over the next week (James Pazos will likely get the demotion) New York is starting to undergo swift changes after a 9-16 start to the season.