Fresh off winning Triple-A East Pitcher of the Week on July 26, New York Yankees top pitching prospect Luis Gil was absolutely shelled in his next outing on July 27. He saw his ERA balloon from 4.03 to 5.64 after that.
Next up, though? A promotion to the major leagues!
That’s right. Gerrit Cole tested positive for COVID-19 (classic) and the Yankees are calling on Gil (the team’s next-highest pitching prospect after Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia) to help out the staff until they can get some other guys back.
Let’s get excited though, right? The Yankees have denied fans’ overtures to call up a number of top contributors in the farm system until the team was absolutely forced to do so, and Gil’s arrival comes as a surprise since three new pitchers were acquired at the trade deadline.
Gil is a 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic. He’s a right-handed starting pitcher, but the belief is that he’ll profile more as a reliever at the MLB level due to the fact he’s yet to refine a third pitch in his arsenal.
He features an upper-90s fastball, a sweeping slider and a somewhat undeveloped changeup.
What Yankees fans need to know about top pitching prospect Luis Gil.
Gil’s struggles throughout his minor league career typically boiled down to his control and command. He’s been in the Yankees’ farm system since 2018 and has almost always had issues upon being promoted midseason.
In 2018, he ran through the rookie league before stumbling at Staten Island (RIP). Then in 2019, he had his best showing to date at Single-A Charleston before being knocked around a bit at High-A Tampa. 2020 was a wash, but then in 2021, he crushed the competition at Double-A Somerset and then ran into issues at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
But he made the Pitching Ninja Twitter account this past spring!
Gil strikes out a ton of a batters (352 in 268 career innings) but also walks a ton (160 in 268 career innings). He hardly gives up homers (0.5 per nine innings for his career), though his six allowed in 30.1 Triple-A innings this year is a reason to briefly raise an eyebrow.
Hopefully, the Yankees can give him some worthwhile pointers at the big league level, where he’s sure to get reps in the coming days against the Orioles and/or Mariners.
The Yankees need both starter and relief help, but Gil has averaged just four innings per start this season in Double- and Triple-A. Look for him to help patch up a bullpen that now features Clay Holmes and Joely Rodriguez after the departures of Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson.
Nestor Cortes Jr. will shift back to the rotation while Cole is out, and Yankees fans will get a glimpse of Gil’s capabilities. The 6-2, 185-pound flamethrower still needs to develop further, but he could be a shot in the arm for a pitching staff that seems like it’s tired on most nights since the offense hardly ever gives them a free pass.