After months of speculation on what the Somerset Patriots roster might look like for the 2021 season, their first as the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, the first player has finally been assigned here by the big league club.
As part of a bevy of transactions announced on Friday, the Yankees revealed that prized pitching prospect Luis Gil has been sent to Somerset, where he will likely be in contention to take the ball for the club’s inaugural affiliated Opening Day on May 4 against the Harrisburg Senators at TD Bank Ballpark.
Gil is largely a consensus Top 5 prospect in the Yankees organization — Baseball America has him slotted in fourth, while MLB Pipeline puts him one spot lower in fifth — and, barring a meteoric ascension through the system by Jasson Dominguez, will likely be the highest-rated Bronx-bound prospect to set foot in Bridgewater this year.
A hard-throwing 22-year-old righty who was shrewdly acquired during the spring of 2018 from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Jake Cave, Gil earned a spot on the 40-man roster heading into last season thanks to an electric slider-changeup-fastball mix that sees the latter sit between 95-98 miles per hour.
After splitting the 2019 season between Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, Gil spent his 2020 campaign at the alternate site, and, given that experience, could potentially be a candidate to be a quick mover to Triple-A Scranton if he’s able to continue the trend of lowering a walk rate that’s steadily gone down since joining the organization.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com