Yankees’ early success hinges on unheralded Luis Gil’s dominant fastball

Luis Gil, player, of the new york yankees

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Luis Gil’s been one of the best names of the New York Yankees so far. Alongside Juan Soto, who has also been creating a buzz, Luis Gil has delivered impressive stats during the Yankees’ best start in the regular season of the MLB in 20 years.

Analysing Luis Gil’s stats

Luis Gil, player, of the new york yankees
Sports Illustrated

It’s evident that Luis Gil’s fastball is ascending to unprecedented heights as he dazzles through his first two starts, rendering it nearly untouchable.

Concern rippled through the hearts of Yankee fans upon learning of Gerrit Cole’s 10-12 week absence due to nerve inflammation and edema in his pitching elbow. The absence of their ace, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, left a daunting gap in the rotation, especially with uncertainties surrounding the pitching staff. However, these anxieties were quickly assuaged as the Yankees surged to the best record in baseball (10-3), propelled by a starting rotation boasting the third-lowest ERA (2.52) in the league.

While Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes, Marcus Stroman, and Clarke Schmidt contributed to this early success, it’s Luis Gil’s scorching performance that stands out. Emerging from the shadows to clinch the fifth starter position in spring, Gil’s electric debut surpassed expectations. In his first start since his 2021 debut, he stifled the Diamondbacks, allowing only one run on one hit and three walks while striking out six. His subsequent outing against the Blue Jays, where he fanned eight, including consecutive strikeouts in the third and fourth innings, further solidified his emergence.

Luis Gil’s fastball

Luis Gil’s meteoric rise can be largely attributed to his fastball, which has drawn comparisons to Gerrit Cole’s by manager Aaron Boone. Exhibiting enhanced velocity and spin rate compared to his previous seasons, Luis Gil’s four-seamer boasts a staggering 31.8% whiff rate, ranking among the top 20 pitchers who have thrown at least 100 four-seamers this season.

Luis Gil, player, of the new york yankees
Jim McIsaac

What sets Luis Gil’s fastball apart is its movement profile. With an elevated spin rate and increased rise, it proves nearly impossible to touch, especially when located at the top of the zone. This combination of velocity, spin, and movement places Gil’s fastball among the elite in the league, as evidenced by its impressive vertical attack angle relative to the league.

Examining specific instances from his outings, Luis Gil’s fastball consistently elicits swings and misses or weak contact, even when thrown within the strike zone. Whether blowing away batters with triple-digit heaters or inducing harmless fouls, Gil’s fastball commands the game with authority.

While early-season statistics are promising, it’s Gil’s unwavering confidence in his fastball that provides optimism for sustained success. While his secondary pitches are still refining, Gil’s mastery of his fastball sets a solid foundation for future achievements. As he continues to hone his arsenal, Gil’s fastball serves as a potent weapon capable of leading the Yankees to further triumphs.

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