On this day in 1985 Mat Gamel was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He went to Chipola College in Marianna, Florida before the Brewers selected him in the fourth round (115th overall pick) of the 2005 draft. Gamel, Ryan Braun, Zach Braddock and Taylor Green are the only players from that draft that have reached the majors as Brewers.
Gamel dominated the minors over his first seven professional seasons, hitting .304/.376/.498 in 746 games with 105 home runs. He's twice been named to Baseball America's list of the game's top 100 prospects, coming in 34th in 2009 and 89th in 2010.
In the majors, however, bad timing and bad luck have plagued Gamel a bit. He's been a big leaguer for parts of the last five seasons but has only appeared in more than 21 games one time. He's been blocked by other players (most notably Casey McGehee) and hampered by injuries for much of that time.
Bad luck has struck Gamel again in 2012, as his ACL injury opened the door for Corey Hart's move to first base. With Hart looking like he may stick at the position, Gamel once again faces an uphill climb to find playing time in 2013.
Gamel turns 27 today. With help from Brewerfan.net and the B-Ref Play Index, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday to:
- AZL Brewer Mitch Conner, who turns 23.
- 1999-2000 Brewer Kevin Barker, who turns 47.
- 1994 Brewer Jody Reed, who turns 50.
Today is also the anniversary of a 3-2 Brewer win over the Red Sox in 1993 where Tom Brunansky hit a walkoff home run. We covered that event in this space last year.