Saturday, May 9, 2009

Player Profile - Robert Gil

Robert Gil
Age: 28B/T: R/R
Born: Goshen, IN
Position(s): P (SP5)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

He is, by far, the most dominant pitcher 7Mickey7 has ever seen.

180 wins over eight seasons...
Has had an ERA of less than 4.00 in six of his eight seasons...
Double-digit losses in only two of his eight seasons...
Under 200 strikeouts in one of his eight seasons...
Allowed opponents to hit over .250 only twice in his eight seasons...
Seven major league All-Star appearances...
Four major league Cy Young awards...

"Yes, I've been eating my Wheaties" remarked a playful Gil.

His opponents are definitely not playful or even joyful when they think about Gil. He has baffled opponents for eight seasons, and even at age 28, other teams have not been able to figure him out.

With a 4-seam fastball that's faster than lightning, masterful control of a great sinker and split-finger fastball, Gil continues to baffle the opposition.

Growing up in rural Goshen, Indiana, Gil grew up on a farm in the sparsely populated city. City census showed a population of 17,871 in 1970... to put that into perspective, if you fit the population of Goshen in 1970 into the Wachovia Center, the adjacent arena that houses the Flyers and Sixers, you would still have 1129 seats left over in the 19,000 capacity arena.

"I never thought about it that way," Gil remarked. "I knew we were a small town, but wow..."

All of the success has not gone to Gil's head. He's still as humble as he was when he was growing up.

"We didn't have much growing up. We lived on a farm, we lived off the farm. We had a hard day's work every day. My dad really instilled a great work ethic in us growing up."

That work ethic paid off when it came to baseball. Drafted out of high school, Gil was slated to be a dominant pitcher, but no one expected him to be this dominant.

Gil has spent his entire career with the Wings. After being drafted by the El Paso organization, Gil was traded in his first season in the minors.

Who was he traded for? The now retired pitcher Al Schmidt, who began his career with decent numbers but never turned into anything special, current free agent setup man Victor Munoz, who posted lower than a 4.50 ERA in only four of his nine major league seasons, and current Drug Mule Miguel Rodriguez who, until recently, has come in to his own. Seems like it was a good decision to me.

Some believed it was a great trade, some thought the GM gave up way too much, including "Baseball Tonight" co-hosts, Karl Ravech and John Kruk. Broadcaster Buster Olney had an answer for both of their concerns... here's a snippet of the trade analysis segment on "Baseball Tonight" the night the trade broke -

Karl Ravech: Buster, what can you tell us about Robert Gil?

Buster Olney: Well, he is an 18-year old kid from Goshen, IN. Most scouts say that he already has three major-league quality pitches--a 4-seam fastball, a sinker, and a slider--and another one that could actually develop into his best pitch, with a little work--a splitter. He throws in the upper-90's with a solid command of the strike zone. He has never had a serious injury and absolutely loves the game of baseball. From what I've heard, he has that "it" factor.

Karl Ravech: What is his upside?

Buster Olney: Several scouts have told me that he has not only the potential to be a Cy Young pitcher, but the potential to be one of the best pitchers in baseball. You know the old cliche "the sky is the limit"... well, that seems to ring true with Gil. Then again, he is only 18. A lot can happen between now and stardom, and the Wings sure did give up a lot to get him.

John Kruk: Buster, why would the Wings--a strong, contending team, with guys in their primes right now--give up on three very good prospects in their early- and mid-20's for an 18-year old that, at best, is 4 years away from helping this club win.

Buster Olney: That is the big question here, Krukker. GM "robinhood" has made a very bold play here that might come back to bite him if the Wings find themselves one or two players away in any of the next couple of years. In fact, all three of these guys were slated to slide right in to this roster in the next couple of years. The pitching staff is good, but aging, with Tomas Perez, Clyde Miller, and Glen Collins all north of 30, who is going to join Anthony George in the rotation two or three years from now? Al Schmidt is not going to be a star, but he is sure going to be a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy. And, Victor Munoz has closer stuff. But, the real gem of the deal for Iowa City is centerfielder Miguel Rodriguez. And, that is another question for Hood--with Ozzie Romano slowing a bit, who is going to succeed him in center? That was supposed to be Rodriguez, but now he's in Iowa City. It sure is a risk, and I'll tell you what, as the very first move of a new GM, Hood better hope that 18-year old stays healthy and becomes the pitcher people think he will or his first move might be the one that sinks him.

When GM "robinhood" was asked what Robert Gil means to the organization, he commented, "What can I say about Robert? He is the consummate professional. He has been the face of the franchise ever since he was a baby-faced 20-year old winning 19 games for the defending World Series champions. He has far exceeded even my own expectations (which were quite high) and he probably still has another decade in the maroon and gold. All the accolades aside, do you know what the best part about Robert is for his GM and manager? The fact that no matter what happens, no matter what else can possibly go wrong, Robert Gil will always make his start and almost always give you at least 6 solid innings. Win or lose, just the fact that we never need a swing starter and never need more than 3 innings of relief every 5 (or oftentimes 4) days is a manager's dream."

"He will easily be a first ballot Hall of Famer" 7Mickey7 commissioner "7Yankees7" said. "At only 28 years old, he has made a tremendous impact on our league."

At only age 28, Robert Gil still has a lot of years ahead of him. Opposing teams have been warned...

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