Minor Leagues

Yankees trade Ben Gamel to Seattle for two pitching prospects

Just one day after he was named the International League MVP for the 2016 season, OF Ben Gamel has a new home. The Yankees have announced that they’ve traded the 24-year-old to the Seattle Mariners for two RHP prospects – Juan De Paula and Jio Orozco. The move clears a valuable 40-man roster spot for the Yankees, who will have quite the roster crunch to deal with over the upcoming offseason.

The Yankees have an abundance of outfielders in the system, so Gamel is the odd man out. He hit .308/.365/.420 with six homers and 51 RBI in 116 games for the Railriders this season. Selected out of high school in the 10th round of the 2010 amateur draft, Gamel made his MLB debut this season, appearing in six games overall at the big league level. He collected his first hit back on May 9 against the Royals.

De Paula, who turns 19 in three weeks, is a six-foot-three, 165-pound righty that went 1-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 11 games (seven starts) for the Mariners A-ball team in the Arizona League this season. He wasn’t ranked on mlb.com’s top 30 Mariners prospect list, but was listed 29th on Seattle’s own list.

Many consider Orozco to be the better prospect. The 19-year-old was Seattle’s 14th round pick in last year’s draft, and was ranked as their 20th best prospect. He’s pitched to a 4.07 ERA over 12 games in the minors this year. Here’s the scouting report on him from mlb.com:

At 6-foot-1, 208 pounds, Orozco compensates for his lack of physical projection with advanced feel for three pitches. His fluid arm action and clean delivery allow him to pitch to both sides of the plate with his 91-94 mph fastball, while his extension through the ball gives it some sinking action. Orozco’s curveball has above-average potential, thrown from an over-the-top slot with good arm speed, creating a 12-to-6 shape with depth, and he also shows good feel for a changeup, giving him the chance for three average-or-better offerings.

Beyond the stuff, Orozco’s overall feel for pitching sets him apart from most pitchers his age. While his mechanics will need some fine-tuning, the right-hander offers plenty to look forward to with his mature stuff and bat-missing ability.

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