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November 11, 2006

by Fabian

Jose Gil, C, 20
Previously Ranked: 25th prior to 2006
What Others Say: Pinstripes Plus N/R, Baseball America N/A

Physical Ability: Jose Gil is a converted catcher without a standout tool. He has defensive potential, but isn’t maximizing it at the moment due to working out some of the mechanical kicks of being a catcher. On offense he has a pretty swing, but there is not much, if any, loft to it. His swing right now is more contact focused than anything, which somewhat limits his offensive potential. On both sides of the ball he is someone that can get by at the moment, but having seen him play, there seems to be a lot of potential there.

What Happened in ’06: Gil started the year in Charleston with the rest of 2005’s promising GCL standouts, but was quickly demoted. On the one hand, the demotion seems out of hand because it was just 74 ABs into the year, but on the other hand it seems justified in that he was struggling to drive the ball. Gil then re-emerged as part of a tandem C duo with Francisco Cervelli (who would have made this list had I extended it a bit further). At Staten Island, Gil drove the ball a bit better, but still struggled with elevating it as 58.4% of his balls in play were on the ground. As I said, this seems to be a by-product of his swing, which while pretty just does not have much lift to it. Another by-product of his swing and approach, this one positive, is an impressive BB:K ratio of 17:16 at Staten Island. This was in line with his 19:18 in the 2005 GCL, making the 4:15 in his short Charleston stint seem completely out of whack.

What Lies Ahead: I want to say that Gil’s low BABIP is a positive indicator for the future, but I know that it’s a “real” low BABIP based on his approach and speed. Right now, I’m banking on his approach, as far as the numbers and how it looks to me, translating into a more representative performance in 2007. It will be interesting to see where he is placed, as I’m not sure having him and Cervelli serve as tandem C again will help their development. There’s also some hope on my part that he will add more mass to his frame, as he has room to go, and may drive the ball better as a result of this.

Grade: Gil’s physical ability and performance are both solid, but I believe there is A LOT of potential to be tapped. There’s a bunch of guys around his grade when trying to rank these guys and I chose to go with Gil because I have a good gut feeling about him. Cervelli might have been here as well as it seems he has a bit more talent, but having seen both play, Gil’s style strikes me as having an easier time adapting to higher levels, 2006 Charleston notwithstanding. C

Eduardo Nunez #25