Yankees sign tenth rounder Ben Gamel


Via Kendall Rogers, the Yankees have signed tenth round pick Ben Gamel for $500,000, though the deal has not yet been officially announced. His bonus exceeds MLB’s recommended slot by $350,000. A pure hitter like his brother (and Brewers’ prospect) Mat, Gamel has a sweet lefty swing that produces line drives from gap-to-gap. He’s not much of a power threat right now, but he has a chance to grow into some as he puts some weight on his 5-foot-11, 170 lb. frame. A corner outfielder in the long-term, his non-hit tools are nothing special, but he’s got a rep of being a big time grinder. Here’s video.

Once Gamel’s signing is made official, the Yanks will have 12 of their first 13 picks under contract.

Categories : Asides, Draft


  1. Chris says:

    Do you like the approach the Yankees seem to be taking this year (giving out a bunch of 6 figure bonuses) or would you rather they give a big bonus to one or two big names?

  2. mikebk says:

    this is the first signing that feels like an overpay.

    • Gonzo says:

      Do you think they paid extra for the pedigree?

    • Agreed. Lack of any real defensive prowess with questions of power? Pass for that money. When one of his best tools is that he’s gritty, I tend to think the future is bleak.

      • Steve H says:

        When one of his best tools is that he’s gritty, I tend to think the future is bleak.

        Grit can win you a World Series MVP.


        David Eckstein

        • Grit can win you a World Series MVP.


          David Eckstein Dustin Pedroia

          • Sweet Dick Willie says:

            To be fair, Pedroia also has talent. I personally don’t think it will age particularly well, but there’s no denying his talent.

            Eckstein on the other hand, only has grit.

            • Steve H says:

              To be fair, Pedroia also has talent.

              He has a ton of talent and was a high draft pick. Unfortunately the MSM simply does not get this and think that he gritted himself to become a great player. That’s the obnoxious part about it with Pedroia. He wasn’t a 72nd round pick. He forced Ian Kinsler to transfer to a different college because he was better than him and then the Sox took him in the 2nd round.

        • Sleepykarl says:

          He’s right. The Yankees were in a WS drought till Gardner came up and saved them with his massive grit rating.

      • zs190 says:

        I think that’s selling him a bit low. He’s supposed to be a very good pure hitter and his tool to hit for average seems like above average.

    • Januz says:

      This is not as much as an overpay as you might think. This is not a family exactly struggling to make ends meet (His prother Matt is an MLB Player). And he had an opportunity to go to an elite Baseball School (FSU).

  3. kenthadley says:

    are we close on any others?

    • mikebk says:

      speculation over at PP has us with a 6 figure gap b/w the yanks and Dezse. the only others we have been said to be talking with are Williams, Rutckyj and Viramontes.

      • Januz says:

        Lane still thinks it will get done. The gap number is what is important, not that it is 6 figures. It could be 100k, and they they could split the difference. 500k……… Very different.

        • Is $999,999k also very different?

          • Januz says:

            I get the opinion that is not the number. The reality of the matter is the Yankees are essentially paying what they perceive the going rate is for draftees in a bear market. They would prefer to sign Dezse ect, but if not, they will simply take his $$$$$$$$ and save it for next years draft class (Which is perceived to be much stronger).
            Based upon the number of signings and dollar amounts, they are probably right.

  4. 28 in '10 says:

    Did I miss a slew of international signings? Or even a couple? I know they trickle in after July 2nd, but what have we gotten so far?

    • Very little. I can only remember two, neither of which was considered a “big signing”.

    • Januz says:

      There have been very few IFA signings and essentially none by the Yankees. The poor market (Talent wise), the overall economy, Dominican Steroid issues, and over inflated demands are why. This is an even more extreme example of the draft. When all is said and done Hededia as an elite prospect (Like Harper) will get his money, but most of the middle tier guys, are in for a rude awakening.

  5. CapitalT says:

    Any word if there are talks with Jordan or is that not going to happen

  6. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    I wouldn’t count out the ninja-ness of Damon Opp, he learned under the Ca$h Money Trillionaire. I fully expect a huge move come Monday, Lord Vader style.

  7. Basil F. says:

    Don’t feel Gamel is an overpay… above-average lefty stick who just turned 18. IMO he can mature into 15-18 HR guy @ YSlll, while hitting for a decent average.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

      On Draft Day I could have sworn they said Gamel was 5’8″, so he being 5’11″ is a huge difference. He’s the same height as Nick Swisher, so I feel better……no that it matters.

    • Projecting that far into the future is insane. There’s a low probability he ever wears pinstripes for the Yankees and perhaps an even lower probability he ever hits 15-18 HRs. A ton has to go right for that to happen. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but we’re getting way ahead of ourselves here.

      • Basil F. says:

        It’s a $500,000 sign that yells “potential”. He’s an above average hitter that swings lefty. YSlll has a short RF porch. All I am saying is he’s an 18 year old that CAN mature into a 15 hr guy.

        Odds are against it, but very possible.

      • Chris says:

        But you could use the same argument for any player the Yankees signed. There are only a handful of players in any given draft that are advanced enough that you can basically be assured of them making the majors.

  8. feasor says:

    I take this as the death knell of Rutckyj. I can’t see them ponying up this money for Gamel if they were still in on the Canadian lefty.

    • mikebk says:

      with morton and gamel the yanks have only spent 4.24 in announced money. the only other guy that has signed that could have been given over 100K is Austin. With williams being the only guy that might crack 7 figures there should be enough money to go after the canadian, dezse and viramontes if they really want them.

  9. Basil F. says:

    Draft seems ok, but with Encinas and Morton as the only pitchers that project to be more than just organizational arms & middle relievers, I’m a little disappointed.

    And I’m not sure either can be a #1 or a #2.

    • zs190 says:

      Drafting as low as we do and focusing more on athletic up the middle positions this year, it’s hard to get guys that are obvious potential #1 or #2′s right after the draft.

      The big Canadian kid has a chance to be a potential top of the rotation guy though so there is also that.

    • Pete says:

      meh, as zs190 said, the Yanks’ draft position made it largely impossible for the organization to draft #1/#2 types. AJ Cole was the only semi-stud pitcher left on the board when the Yanks picked, and he has plenty of issues of his own. The organization appeared to have focused on drafting enough athletic, up-the-middle talent to hopefully net a couple of quality hitters who are also able to play above-average defense at an up-the-middle position. Not really a bad strategy. Now if they had passed on Gerritt Cole for Culver, I’d have been a little more miffed.

      It’s always important to keep context in mind. Without the presence of obviously superior pitching talent on the table, it made sense for a team stacked with low-minors pitching and catching talent to “focus” on other positions. Right now the Yankees organization has Brackman, Banuelos, Betances, and Ramirez (I’m probably forgetting someone, too) as high-level (#1/#2 potential) pitching talent, plus a lot of guys who could become valuable pieces in their own right, like Nova, Noesi, Stoneburner, Mitchell, etc.

      On the other side of the ball, though, they’ve got four catchers (of whom, admittedly, only one is widely considered to have major league caliber defensive potential) and Heathcott. Makes sense that they’re trying to draft SS and CF where possible.

      ed. note: the grammatical accuracy of this comment is fully dependent on a draft-day frame of reference

  10. zs190 says:

    His scouting report makes him sound like an outfield version of Corban Joseph that hits left handed. Average or below tools everywhere except hit for average. At 500K it’s not a steal but not that much of an overpay either.

  11. Bruce says:

    Does Oppenheimer have a thing for younger brothers? Gamel, Romine, Laird,and Murton were all were drafted recently.

    • Gonzo says:

      Didn’t he draft Greink’s younger bro too? Luke Greinke, right?

    • Tom Swift says:

      It’s about bloodlines. Son of Northern Dancer probably has a lot of Northern Dancer’s genes. If Jeter had a baseball-playing nephew, I imagine he would be scouted heavily.

  12. JohnC says:

    What is Lane saying about Williams? Does he think he’s gonna sign or not?

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