Yankees Scouts Hit Big On Luis Gil
Prior to the 2018 season, the Yankees viewed their outfield as stable for years to come. After all, they had starters Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge, all capably backed up by Brett Gardner.
Therefore, 25-year-old outfielder Jake Cave was viewed as expendable, assuming that everybody on the major league roster remained healthy. After all, Stanton, Hicks and Judge were all young, talented and capable of big things.
Needing room on the 40-man roster that spring training, the Yankees traded Cave to the Twins for Luis Gil, a 20-year-old Dominican righthander at the time who had drawn the attention of Yankees international talent evaluators Taylor Emanuel and Mario Garza.
The deal didn’t receive a lot of attention at the time. Cave was a lefthanded-hitting outfielder who had spent 2017 at Double-A and Triple-A. Gil, who signed in February 2015, had been a professional for three seasons, all three in the Dominican Summer League, one spent entirely on the sidelines while on the injured list.
"The scouts did a tremendous job,’’ minor league pitching coordinator Danny Borrell said of the scouts targeting Gil as a pitcher with potential.
Fast-forward to this season, and Gil had pitched so well at low Class A Charleston that teams inquired this year if he was available in a trade.
"He has all the ingredients to be a frontline (starter),’’ Borrell said of Gil, whose calling card is a fastball that ranges from 95-100 mph and produces a lot of swings and misses but isn’t the only effective pitch. "He spins the ball well.’’
Gil had generated the second-highest swinging-strike rate in the South Atlantic League while recording a 2.39 ERA through 17 starts. He struck out 112 and walked 39 through 83 innings. Also, his 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame has room to grow.
"He still has a young body and is a good athlete,’’ Borrell said. "He has done a tremendous job of throwing strikes this year."
Of particular note, was Gil's improved control. Last year in Rookie ball he walks 6.1 batters per nine innings. He had improved that rate to 4.2 per nine this season.
— Low Claws A Charleston catcher Anthony Seigler, the 23rd pick in the 2018 draft out of Cartersville (Ga.) High, didn’t start playing until June because of a quad injury a year after he was limited to 24 games. He went 17-for-97 (.175) with three extra-base hits through 30 games.
— Catcher Josh Breaux, taken in the second round of the 2018 draft out of McLennan (Texas) JC, played in 30 games for Charleston and last appeared on May 21 because he was sidelined with an elbow issue. He hit .295 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 30 games.