Thursday, February 20, 2014

See ya, Mat!

I love low-risk, post-hype sleeper guys.  Mat Gamel was one of those guys.  A former top prospect for the Brewers organization, Gamel first reached the majors in 2008 at the age of 22.  He would get his first extended taste of the majors the following season, slashing .242/.338/.422 in 148 PA.  Unfortunately for Gamel, that has been the most plate appearances he has ever received in the majors.

While he has never hit that well from 2010-12, injuries were a big reason that he never was able to secure an everyday role.  Most notably, he tore his right ACL each of the last two seasons.  After he was non-tendered by the Brewers, Gamel became a free agent and the Braves quickly struck.  They did not have an obvious need at first or third base - Gamel's positions - but Gamel did slash .310/.372/.540 in 2011 with Milwaukee's AAA club.  Talents like that deserve a look.

However, before his first game with the Braves, Gamel was released after tweaking the same knee even before workouts officially began.  It's the latest in crushing blows to Gamel's potential career.  Once the 34th prospect in the game entering 2009 by Baseball America, Gamel has to wonder if he will ever get back to the bigs.

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