New York Yankees: Luis Gil’s slider was the talk of the alternate training site

The New York Yankees refuse to spend on starting pitching in the offseason, at least so far. They are in wait-and-see mode, as they remain patient to see how the market unfolds. They won’t spend a ton of money, even though they lost James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ to free agency.

Maybe, just maybe, they are showing some faith in their farm system. Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt could contribute in 2021, especially the former. Luis Medina is dominating the Puerto Rican league, too. But there is one name that isn’t getting nearly enough attention: Luis Gil.

The Yankees know that Gil, a 22-year-old right-handed pitcher, isn’t particularly close to the majors. He only has 13 innings of experience in Class A-Advanced, and he hasn’t pitched in the upper minors. But he gained valuable experience at the 2020 alternate training site.

Brendan Kuty interviewed the New York Yankees’ director of pitching Sam Briend in an article published in Baseball America. Gil was the primary theme of the conversation, as Briend was impressed with his slider. It is a sharp 87-mph pitch with a devastating sweep.

The Yankees have a talented, hard-working pitcher

The slider development came after months of hard work.

“We really started seeing some changes right there at the end,” Briend said. “I wish it had gone longer than it did.” Gil is considered the Yankees’ fourth-best prospect.

“He’s just incredibly impressive to begin with,” Briend said.

In addition to the breaking ball, Gil sports a high-90s fastball and a developing changeup. Between Low-A and High-A ball in 2019, he struck out 123 hitters over 96 innings.

“Luis was awesome in terms of his work ethic and the way he bought into a handful of new and unique training programs,” Briend said. “The offspeed changes and command were our big focuses for him at the alt site.”

If we have some semblance of normalcy in 2021, Gil should start at High-A, and if he impresses, he is primed for a Double-A debut later in the summer and, perhaps, a call-up to the New York Yankees’ active roster in 2022.