It appears to be a foregone conclusion that the New York Yankees will strike a deal in the coming weeks for a starting pitcher. Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman, Trevor Bauer, and Matt Boyd have all been linked to the team at one point this season. That being said, the only question greater than who the Yankees will get has been how will they get them. One unsuspected prospect in the mix could be Luis Gil.
Luis Gil Profile
Luis Gil is a member of the Class-A Charleston RiverDogs, and he’s only 21 years old. The six-foot-three-inch pitcher is the thirteenth best prospect in the Yankee organization according to MLB.com.
He came to the Yankees from the Minnesota Twins organization in exchange for Jake Cave. The Yankees needed to deal Cave in order to make room on the 40-man roster for Neil Walker in 2018. Ultimately, they wound up with a pitcher who will either spear head their pitching staff of the future or be the piece that nets them the pitcher they need for the short term.
2019 is Gil’s first in full season professional baseball, and he is considered to be a work in progress. That being said, the ceiling is high for the right handed Dominican-born pitcher.
First of all, he possesses a superb fastball. Scouts grade the pitch as a 70/80, and he hits 94-98 MPH regularly. The fastball has reached as high as 101 MPH, and Gil can carry his velocity deep into starts. Above all, his big arm stands out in a farm system loaded with big arms.
Gil also possesses the ability to elevate his fastball up in the zone. The ability to locate up in the zone has always been a crucial location to hit although now it has become more crucial than ever as the launch angle revolution makes that pitch more unhittable than ever.
This powerful fastball is backed up by an exceptional curveball that garners a grade of 65/80. Gil spins the pitch very well, creating a powerful breaking ball that certainly misses a ton of bats. Gil is working on a changeup that is still a long way from being formidable with a 45/80 grade.
Most noteworthy is that his fastball and curveball receive higher grades from scouts than that of the aforementioned Garcia. The reason that the younger Garcia appears likely to be an MLB pitcher by the end of this year or next season at the latest is his control.
Garcia’s control is graded a 55/80 compared to Gil’s 40/80, the likely source of his surprisingly low overall grade of 45/80. All things considered, Luis Gil has a tremendous ceiling and will start to put it together as he improves on repeating his mechanics, improving his control as a result.
RHP Luis Gil pitched to a 13.3 SO/9 rate in 2018 with @PulaskiYanks. He's doing more of the same in 2019 with @ChasRiverDogs, striking out 9 in his start on Friday (5.0 IP // 1 H // 2 BB // 0 R // 9 K). pic.twitter.com/AhkBJXskOO
— NYYPlayerDev (@NYYPlayerDev) April 22, 2019
Luis Gil is enjoying a successful season so far in 2019 with Charleston. In the long run, he could prove to be a dominant late-inning reliever, but he is pitching as a starter for now so that he can continue to get more repetition.
Despite a 4-5 record, he is pitching a 2.38 ERA in 79.1 innings pitched (16 starts). In those 79.1 innings, he has 106 strikeouts (12.02 K/9), but 37 walks (4.19 BB/9). He’s only allowed 57 hits and opponents are batting .199 against him on the season. That equates to a 1.18 WHIP, as well.
The only troubling thing is the walks with a 2.86 SO/BB. The 12.02 K/9 illustrates the magnitude of his plus velocity and exceptional spin, but have that a mark that high and only have a 2.86 SO/BB reiterates his work in progress reputation.
The control is bound to improve with time. As for right now, Luis Gil proves to be both an intriguing and exciting young prospect that the Yankees could seemingly package for a starting pitcher should they feel they feel he is no longer in their long term plans.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images