Gamel Hoping To Make Late Impact

Gamel has just three hits against lefties in AA

TRENTON, NJ - With the end of the season rapidly approaching and the Trenton Thunder fighting for a playoff spot, outfielder Ben Gamel is hoping to improve the team's chances of solidifying that playoff berth, despite only being called up on August 15.

"I was very excited when I got that call," Gamel said in reference to his promotion to Double-A. "I know these guys are in a tight race, so myself, Mason, Bryan, and Scottie are just trying to help the team win it."

To go along with Mason Williams, Scottie Allen, and Bryan Mitchell, Gamel is ready for the final stretch. After playing the majority of this season in Tampa where he batted .272 with 50 runs and 21 steals, he has already noticed some differences in the level of play.

"I've definitely noticed some things while I'm at bat," Gamel said. "Pitchers have a lot more feel, they pitch backwards and use both sides of the plate so it's all about adjusting and getting on base."

Having only seen him play in fourteen games, Trenton Thunder manager Tony Franklin is content with what he's seen up to this point from Gamel.

"What I have heard so far is that he's a gamer," Franklin said. "I've had him in all three outfield positions and he's done very well for us, so I feel very comfortable with Ben out there. He's very versatile, covers all the outfield spots really well, and I think he's got a pretty nice swing where he's gonna put the ball in play."

Only 21 years old, Gamel is already making strides throughout the Yankees organization. After being drafted in 2010, he has spent time at each level of minor league play, not including Triple-A. In 2012, he hit .306 with 136 hits and picked up 19 steals in 110 games for the Charleston RiverDogs in the South Atlantic League.

While in Trenton, Gamel got off to slower start, batting .217 in 60 at-bats, going 3-7 in his first appearance for the Thunder. He has also been able to seek advice from his brother Mat, who has now been in the MLB for five years.

"Me and Mat don't talk much about baseball, but when we do it's just him giving me a few tips here and there on how to adjust to certain situations," Gamel said.

As for the future, Franklin is unsure of where Gamel will be next year, mainly due to how late he was called up to Double-A.

"It's kind of hard to say where some of these guys are going to be next year," Franklin said. "When you take a look at the team at the end of the year and you see how long guys have been here, you get an idea of where they will be at the start of the next season.

"Ben got here so late and doesn't have a whole lot of at-bats at this level, so I'd like to see him get enough at-bats at each level to determine whether he moves up or not.

"There's a good chance he starts with us next season, but it wouldn't surprise me if some of these guys who got here late go on to Triple-A and maybe even New York."

For now, Gamel is focused on making his short time in Trenton worthwhile, and hopes to help the Thunder secure that playoff spot.

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