Mateo Gil grew up learning the game of baseball from his father, Benji, who spent eight seasons in the major leagues from 1993-2003 and won a World Series with the Los Angeles Angels in 2002.
Learning from his father, who has a great understanding of the game and experience playing at the highest level, has been crucial to Gil’s development as a baseball player, he said.
“He’s taught me a lot of things other things haven’t been taught,” Gil said. “It’s really helped me throughout my baseball career because there’s thing that kids don’t even learn until college or pro baseball, and I’ve learned them at age 9 or 10.
“I’m just grateful to have that opportunity. Even though I might take it for granted, but in the long run I’m going to appreciate it.”
Committed to Texas Christian University (TCU), Gil is one of the top high school baseball prospects in the country and has a shot at being selected in the early rounds of the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
“Sometimes it’s weird to think about since I’m still in high school,” he said. “I’m just trying to have fun. I got here by having fun and doing what I do, so I’m just going to keep it up.”
Even though he’ll have a difficult decision to make next June, he knows he has a great opportunity at TCU.
“I committed to TCU because it’s a great program, it’s close to home so my family can come out and watch, and it’s a very good education,” Gil said. “I meshed with all the coaches, and I liked all of them so I thought it was an ideal place to go.”
Gil played throughout the summer in different showcase events, including in the Perfect All-American Classic Game. It was an opportunity he’ll never forget, he said.
“The thing I think is pretty cool is playing every day because they’re week long tournaments,” Gil said. “You’re pretty much getting a taste of the minor league or major league life playing every day. It’s a really cool experience.”
A 6-foot-1, 180-pound two-way player, Gil views himself as a shortstop first and a pitcher second, despite his low-90s fastball.
At shortstop, Gil is a smooth and confident defender that makes accurate throws.
A right-handed batter, he’s a gap-to-gap hitter with a balanced approach at the plate. He has the potential to add power as he matures and gets stronger.
“My ability to play both sides of the ball,” said Gil of his biggest strength. “If I’m not doing that well at the plate, I’ll be sure to step up my play in the field. If I do bad at the plate, I’m not going to take it out into the field.”
Although his last season of high school baseball is still months away, Gil has already started preparing. Besides improving his abilities on the field, Gil plans on spending a lot of time in the weight room.
“I’m just going to work on filling out, improving my arm strength and hitting the ball to the right side with more authority,” he said.
Find more 2018 MLB Draft profiles here.