A recently non-tendered outfielder from a National League Central foe could fill a void for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2021
Thursday afternoon, Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington met with the media. During this media availiabilty, he expressed interest in adding outfield help this offseason. That should not come as a surprise, as it is somthing we have speculated and written about this offseason.
Following Wednesday’s tender deadline, more players became free agents. One of the players who became a free agent after being non-tendered is outfielder Ben Gamel, who could be a fit in free agency for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Gamel has spent the previous two seasons playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates with the Milwaukee Brewers. Last season, Gamel hit for a .237/.315/.404 slash line to go with a wRC+ of 93. He psoted a strong 10.2% walk rate, and collected extra base hits at a healthy 10.5% rate.
A high walk rate is nothing new for Gamel who owns a 9.1% walk rate in his MLB career. He has posted a walk rate higher than 10% in four of his five MLB seasons and owns a lifetime .331 on-base percentage.
In addition to helping the Pittsburgh Pirates with their need for outfield help there is another question that Gamel could help answer for the Pirates in 2021. That question is who will bat led off for the Bucs?
With his great on-base skills, Gamel would be a strong lead off hitter for the Pirates. Currently, there is no obvious answer to who will bat lead off for the Pirates in 2021.
Additionally, batting lead off is nothing new to Gamel. The left-handed hitting outfielder has bat led off 62 times in his career, accumulating 250 plate appearances. He owns a strong .288/.337/.428 slash line and 7.2% walk rate out of the lead off spot.
Gamel can play any of the outfield positions, which contributes to him being a fit with the Pirates. In his career he owns a -2 Defensive Runs Saved in center field, -8 DRS in left field and a -6 DRS in right field.
Entering the 2021 season Bryan Reynolds will have a spot in the Pirate outfield. Other than Reynolds, every thing is a great big shurg. Gamel could help fill this void for the Pittsburgh Pirates, while playing center or right field, and could be their lead off man as well.