Over in the Paul DeJong sleeper, I went over different types of sleepers. There was the the sleeper who– Actually, just go there and read the categories I laid out like your mother lays out your clothes. Are you back? Good. Okay, Ben Gamel doesn’t fit into any of those categories. He’s in the category of “Who the eff is Ben Gamel?” Just on the Mariners alone, I could say Ryon Healy is a sleeper, and some people might agree. Mitch Haniger has been a sleeper for about three years. Maybe some would even consider Mike Zunino a sleeper. Ben Gamel though? He’s not going to be drafted even in deep mixed leagues. He’s a sleeper who fantasy baseball ‘perts won’t even talk about, but if you mention him they’ll be like, “Oh, yeah, he’s a good sleeper.” So, why not talk about him? “Because no one is going to talk about him.” That’s right, most fantasy baseball ‘perts judge their sleepers on how much they are not sleepers. Why is this? Not sure, ask them. Ben Gamel is around that of a $2 play in AL-Only leagues. He’s the Rip Van Winkle of sleepers. He’s such a sleeper I guarantee you there will be people asking me in the comments as late as June if they should pick him up. He’s the kind of guy that can win super deep leagues with a very late round pick. If you only play in shallower mixed leagues, go check out my Paul DeJong sleeper. If you want a deep league flyer… So, what can we expect from Ben Gamel for 2018 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Aaron Judge and Alex Bregman sit on both sides of Ben Gamel for line drive rate. For ground balls, Gamel sits between Maikel Franco and Domingo Santana. For fly balls, he sits between OZUNA and Corey Seager. For medium contact, Gamel is top ten in the league. This is for players under the age of 27 last year. Don’t @ me with players 27 or older. I’m looking for people who are peaking or have no peaked yet. Not peaked as in person of gaunt color. Though, if we’re talking a person looking sick, and sick as in good, then fine. In the 2nd half, Gamel hit seven homers while hitting .227. Outside of Marla Gibbs, nobody likes that, but his BABIP was low for him. In the 1st half, his BABIP was obscenely high (.422) which led to his .323 average. I’d split the two for him, and say a .270 average with a .330 BABIP. One thing that really sticks out to me is his pull percentage. From the 1st half of 32.6% to 35.8% in the 2nd, his HR/FB% went from 6.1% to 10.9. Watching tape on him, he does not have opposite field power (his home run spray chart backs this up). Gamel needs to pull the ball to home run, but in the 2nd half he was doing exactly that. Couple a pull approach with an improved 2nd half BABIP and Gamel becomes appealing. Last year in 134 games, he would’ve had 14 homers. A year maturation under his belt and he can easily touch 17 HRs. Finally, throw in the steals. In Triple-A, he stole 19 bags in 116 games. Last year, only four steals and one time caught. At 25 years old, there’s no reason to think he can’t steal 15 bags, and if everything breaks right for him, he moves to the two hole, which is where he better profiles. Sure, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts we’d all be diabetic squirrels, but for the price Gamel is coming at — which is next to nothing — there’s reason here to be enthusiastic. For 2018, I’ll give Ben Gamel the projections of 71/17/61/.271/15 in 564 ABs.