Ben Gamel’s OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) is a more-than-robust 1.063 through his first 13 games for the Seattle Mariners this season.
Now, to start with, this is an incredibly small sample size to remark upon for anyone, let alone a 25-year-old who still qualifies as an MLB rookie. Gamel was ranked 17th by MLB.com among M’s prospects at the start of the season and there’s little in his resume to lead us to think he’ll continue to hit like this all season, much less into next week.
Over parts of eight (yes, eight) minor league seasons, Gamel has put together tidy .288/.347/.403 slash (.750 OPS), so he can hit a little. But 1.063 OPS is simply Barry Bonds-ian. Not even the current best player in the game, Mike Trout, has put up an OPS that stratospheric over a full season.
So yeah, Gamel is gonna cool off.
But what we can take from his two weeks of production so far is that he could be a useful fourth outfielder that can put bat on ball when called upon.
He’s decent enough in the field that he play either corner on the regular, and you could probably get away with playing him in center for a few innings or a game here or there, though you wouldn’t want to rely on him in that spot for weeks at a time.
Gamel’s emergence here will probably cause manager Scott Servais to continue to feed him at-bats once Mitch Haniger gets back, probably at the expense of Jarrod Dyson. That’s good. Dyson’s utility is much better served at a fourth outfielder/pinch-runner/defensive replacement.
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