Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TPC 2009 Projection Combo: Mat Gamel

Since Gamel caught fire in early 2008, there's been a lot of interest and discussion about his future potential.  I've seen him on several National League Rookie of the Year candidate lists for 2009, but Gamel has to get past Bill Hall (or whoever the Brewers can get to play third base) and some recent shoulder pain before he'll really be considered for the award.  I'll list the 2009 projections for Gamel according to Bill James, CHONE, and Marcel, and then I'll throw in my own projection.
The biggest question mark here is how much playing time Gamel will get with the Brewers.  I think most of the above projections are fair, with CHONE being a bit on the low side.  Gamel isn't the greatest fielder, and unless there's a real need for him, I don't think the Brewers will really benefit from calling him up for any substantial amount of time this year.  The Bill James projection seems to be based around Gamel nailing down the starting job this spring, but I don't see it happening, nor do I think he'll garner more than 250 or 300 plate appearances at the major league level.

Anyways, here are my projected totals for Gamel this year.  The first set is based off of 600 plate appearances, and the second set is what I believe he'll actually end up with.

As you can see, my projections come in on the high side, but I think overall there's a good chance that some of Gamel's gap power will translate into home runs once he reaches Milwaukee.  If Gamel were a second baseman or even a shortstop those numbers would be pretty good, but at third base he won't really stand out much, especially when you consider his lack of superior defensive skills.  Overall, not bad, but I'd rather have a guy like Brett Wallace playing the hot corner for my team.
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