A testament to the value of backfields scouting, the Yankees acquired Gil in exchange for marginal big league outfielder Jake Cave in a trade with Minnesota just before the 2018 season. We were among the first to get a look at Gil last year in Extended Spring Training before he shipped off to the Appy League. The 21-year-old righty was named to the South Atlantic League all-star team and has been one of the circuit’s best pitching prospects in 2019.
Gil has a classic projectable frame, standing 6-foot-3 with loose, long limbs and some remaining projection in the upper-half. His fastball comes out easy, sitting in the mid-90s with scrapes of 98-99 mph at times. It’s an explosive pitch with late hop when elevated, able to blow by barrels to all parts of the zone. Gil doesn’t command his heater particularly well at this point—loose over the plate with still-shaky strikethrowing ability—but his velocity and life are enough that he won’t need to be pinpoint. His primary off-speed is a hard low-80s curveball with diagonal slant across the zone. It’s at least a future average pitch, if not a tick more, playing as a swing-and-miss offering in A-Ball. Gil’s changeup is a distant third speed but flashes glimpses of late dive and bottoming action at best.
Gil is probably too advanced for the league at this point and looks ready to move up to High-A. Despite a sparkling 1.81 ERA and strikeout rate above 30-percent, his underlying control and third pitch issues will need to be addressed in order to fully reach his ceiling. With steps forward in those regards, Gil’s fastball and curve give the baseline tools of a power #3 starter. There’s risk here and a fairly short sample to date; despite the tools, there are scenarios where this type of pitching prospect winds up a stuff-over-results backend type or moves to the ‘pen. That’s still excellent value for the price Gil was acquired, and he’s moving up the Yankees’ prospect list with his strong showing in 2019.