Round Rock Express: Know Your Enemy

Highlighting minor-leaguers from the opposing teams

The Nashville Sounds Mat Gamel
The Nashville Sounds Mat Gamel

The Round Rock Express spends this week on the road so there won’t be a chance to catch a home game, but if you happen to be listening on the radio, keep an ear open for these future Major Leaguers.

Mat Gamel, Nashville Sounds, 3B: If you think you’ve heard his name before, you’re right. Gamel has already spent some time in the majors with the Brewers, making a brief appearance in 2008 during September call-ups and played in the bigs for most of his 2009 season.

Despite only batting .242, he was used mainly as a pinch-hitter or a DH because of his poor fielding skills; his .885 fielding percentage was way below the .984 league average.

So why watch out for Gamel? Because he’s only 24 years old and is still regarded as one of the top prospects in the Brewers system. As for the fielding problems? While the Brewers seem intent on keeping Gamel at third, they could easily move him to the outfield if they need to. That’s what they did a few years ago with another player struggling at fielding third, Ryan Braun. Heard of him?

Lance Lynn, Memphis Redbirds, SP: A first-round pick in the 2008 draft, Lynn worked his way up quickly through the minors with his sub-3.00 ERA in 2009 and healthy strike out rate (7.5 K/nine innings) and looks to be another of the St. Louis Cardinals’ studly young pitchers (See: Garcia, Jaime.)

Round Rock already got one look at the right-hander back in May when Lynn scattered six hits in seven innings of shutout ball, allowing no runs and recording eight strikeouts. It’s possible that Lynn pitches this weekend against the Express while in Memphis, but it’s more likely he shows up next week when the Redbirds come to Round Rock for a four-game series. Let’s hope it’s the latter so we all get a chance to take a look at a guy whose pitching style is being compared to Greg Maddux.

Round Rock will be back in town next week for a full week of games. Until then, you can listen to them on ESPN’s The Horn 104.9.

Vs. Memphis: Sun.-Wed., July 4-7, 7:05pm. Vs. Oklahoma City: Thu.-Sun., July 8-11, 7:05pm. Dell Diamond, 3400 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock. $6-30.

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