Gabriel Stefan Kapler
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 208 lb.
- School Moorpark College, California State University, Fullerton
- High School William Howard Taft High School (Woodland Hills)
- Debut September 20, 1998
- Final Game August 14, 2010
- Born August 31, 1975 in Hollywood, CA USA
An impressive player in the minors, Gabe Kapler topped 40 doubles a year from 1996-1998, hitting between 19 and 28 homers each season; unusual power for a 20-22 year old. In 1996, he led the Hawaii Winter League with 7 homers. He hit .247 and slugged .462 for the West Oahu CaneFires. In 1998 he was named Minor League Player of the Year by the The Sporting News after batting .322 with a .583 slugging in the Southern League. He scored 113 times, hit 47 doubles, drove in 146 and homered 28 times that year. That year he set the SL record for RBI, breaking the 1986 record of 132 set by Terry Steinbach. He also set league records with 81 extra-base hits and 319 total bases and broke the old double record of 44 - he shared the new two-bagger record with Robert Fick, who also hit 47 that season.
In 2000 Kapler hit .302/.360/.473 and appeared on the verge of becoming a star center fielder. His production slipped the next year then continued to drop off at the ages when many players peak.
After being a backup OF for the World Series champion 2004 Boston Red Sox, Kapler signed with the Yomiuri Giants. He was a total bust, hitting just .153/.261/.217 and was sent down to the minors, then released. He returned to the Red Sox and hit .247/.282/.351 but suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon on September 14, 2005 and missed the remainder of the 2005 season.
Returning to the Red Sox, Gabe bounced back with a .254/.340/.354 line in 72 games, primarily off the bench, and also played 7 games in the minors on rehab stints.
Gabe's career batting line was .270/.331/.418 and he stole 68 in 94 tries. His career OPS+ was 90, a disappointment given his minor league dominance.
Kapler retired after the 2006 season and was hired as the manager of the Greenville Drive. After one year as a manager, Kapler voiced his intention of making a comeback as a player; he fulfilled this intention by signing a one-year contract for 2008 with the Milwaukee Brewers and making the team in spring training. He later played for the Tampa Bay Rays and retired for good after the 2010 season.
In November of 2014, he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers organization as Director of player development.
- During the final game at Tiger Stadium, Kapler wore no uniform number.
- While not religious, Kapler has spoken of his intention to be a positive role model for Jewish youth.
- 1998 The Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year, Jacksonville Suns, Southern League
- 1998 Player of the Year Southern League Jacksonville Suns
- Won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2004
Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record
|2007||Greenville Drive||South Atlantic League||58-81||14th||Boston Red Sox|