The Yankees DFA’d outfielder Jake Cave (RF, Twins) in March, trading him for a little-known 19-year-old righty named Luis Gil, though the way he has thrown in extended spring training, Gil won’t be a nameless minor leaguer for much longer. Standing 6’3’’ and 176 pounds, he has an ideal pitching frame with plenty of projection left across broad shoulders with lean, wirey features. He generates effortless mid-to-high-90’s velocity, sitting in the 94-to-97 mph range and touching 99 mph on occasion. The fastball has sink that makes it tough to square up, and his free-and-easy delivery gives it late hop and ride through the zone. His power curveball comes in at 81-to-83 mph, showing plus sharpness and two-plane depth at best. He doesn’t show the hammer every time and is inconsistent executing the breaking ball, though that’s fairly common with pitchers his age. He does have a third pitch in a 88-to-89 mph change, but it is in the early stages and is not presently the same caliber of pitch as the fastball or curveball. Gil has a feel to throw the pitch at fastball arm speed, but it’s too firm and speeds up bats at this point.
Scouring the backfields during extended spring training is valuable, and being able to get early looks at pitching prospects like Gil is exactly why. Since my looks at him in extended, Gil has dominated this summer for Pulaski in the Appalachian League. He has the potential for serious bat-missing stuff, and he checks the body/athleticism/mechanics boxes. Gil could fly up prospect lists next year with a strong showing in full-season ball.