Yankees’ forgotten pitching prospect could rise to the occasion in 2024

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

All the attention is headed in the direction of Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes bouncing back, but the Yankees have one young arm working his way back from injury that could make an impact in 2024. Now, 25-year-old pitcher Luis Gil is aiming to support the Yankees’ pitching staff this upcoming season, whether it be out of the bullpen or as a starter.

Gil only pitched four innings last year with Hudson Valley, working his way back from Tommy John surgery. He tossed only 25.2 innings in 2022 between Triple-A Scranton and the Yankees, putting together some inconsistent results that certainly didn’t represent his upside several years ago.

However, Gil is finally ready to enter the regular season fully healthy for the first time in several years, and his stuff is trending in the right direction, especially if his ultimate goal is to become a starter at the MLB level.

Ambition to Start

“My dream is to be a starter,” Gil told SNY on Thursday. “That’s the honest truth right there. But at the same time, the focus is to help the team. Whatever it may be to help us win.”

Even rookie catcher Austin Wells has noticed a slight improvement in his fastball, comparable to a few years ago when he was averaging between 96–97 mph. With that type of velocity and a bit of experience under his belt, Gil has potential, and the Yankees have one minor-league option left to consider when calling him up down the road.

“I thought his fastball looked great,” Wells said. “Having had some experience with him in the past, it looks arguably the same — maybe even a little better.”

Preparing for a Comeback

Gil will likely start the 2024 season in Double or Triple-A, especially if he performs well during spring training. The Bombers will undoubtedly need support to supplement injuries or inconsistencies, and he will be one step away from making just his seventh appearance in the MLB.

Back in 2021, he hosted a 3.07 ERA over 29.1 innings, which included 11.66 strikeouts per nine, an 84.3% left-on-base rate, and a 32.4% ground ball rate. Gil has always been known as a high-strikeout arm who doesn’t give up, but he has had issues in the past. Ultimately, remaining healthy is the goal at this point since his development has been derailed on multiple occasions over the past three seasons.

A Potential Asset for the Yankees

The journey back from Tommy John surgery is never easy, but Gil’s resilience and dedication to his rehabilitation could pay dividends for the Yankees this season. With his sights set on a starting role but open to contributing in any capacity, Gil’s versatility and firepower could be exactly what the Yankees need to bolster their pitching lineup. As spring training progresses, all eyes will be on Gil, hopeful that he can translate his potential into performance on the mound.

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