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The future pen corps, including Gil Luna Jr. (left), prepares for battle — sometimes with green sunglass frames.

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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 40: Gil Luna Jr.

The summer of 2022 was a wash, but let’s hope this skilled southpaw can get right back on track

Gil Luna Jr.

Left-Handed Relief Pitcher
173 pounds
Age: 23
2022 SSS Top Prospect Ranking 48
2022 High Level Winston-Salem (High-A)
Age relative to high level -1.0 years
SSS rank among all left-handed relief pitchers in the system 2
Overall 2022 stats 1-1 ⚾️ 9 games (4 finished) ⚾️ 2 SV ⚾️ 6 1⁄3 IP ⚾️ 7.11 ERA ⚾️ 2.211 WHIP ⚾️ 7 K ⚾️ 6 BB

Pitching for Casa Grande Union H.S. (Ariz.), Gil Luna Jr. was named in 2016 a Louisville Slugger All-American. Supposedly it had something to do with posting a 1.16 ERA with 138 strikeouts as a junior. Not only did Luna win that award as a junior, he had a fantastic senior season as well, which enticed the prestigious University of Arizona to lure him into its program.

Luna struggled, however, in first three years as a Wildcat with ERAs of 5.32, 10.31 and 9.15. However, something clicked for him during his senior season in 2021. In 14 appearances totaling 21 1⁄3 innings, Luna posted a nifty 1.69 ERA and 1.13 WHIP by ceding just 13 hits (.178 OBA) and 11 walks (12.8%) while striking out 31 (36.1%). Based upon his potential and success that senior year, the White Sox selected him in the ninth round of the 2021 draft.

Combined with the ACL Sox and Kannapolis in 2021, Luna posted an exceptional 0.00 ERA and 0.72 WHIP over 10 relief appearances. Spanning a combined 15 1⁄3 innings, he relinquished just five hits (.106 OBA) and six walks (11.3%) while striking out 24 (45.3%): totally amazing stuff. While Luna’s walk rate was high, it was a far cry from his collegiate rate of 19.9%. It’s fair to assume coaches can live with a little higher walk rate if Luna can somehow maintain those high K rates.

After a promising mini-rookie season that caught everyone’s attention, 2022 was a major disappointment for Luna, both from a performance and health standpoint. While details on his injury aren’t known, Luna was active for just six weeks between Winston-Salem and a rehab stint in Arizona before getting 60-day shelved July 6 or later. A 60-day IL stint perhaps might be less dire/strategic in the minors that with the White Sox 40-man, but it’s not anywhere you want to find yourself.

Luna’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Strikeouts 93
vs. Power 90
Hittable 90
K/BB 59
Durability 55
Walks 34
Team Winning Percentage .486

Luna’s primary offerings are a fastball and curveball, and the MLB Network panel specifically cited him on Draft Day as possessing good arm strength and good movement on his 12-6 curveball. He may own the best stuff among southpaw relievers in the system, but the White Sox could give him more time to work on keeping the ball down, as his ground ball rate in 2021 hovered near 30%.

We don’t know enough about Luna’s injury to imagine what his 2023 projects to be, but if healthy he will get another crack at High-A, potentially getting back on the fast track up the system ladder given a dearth of southpaw relievers.

2023 South Side Sox Top 101 White Sox Prospects

40. Gil Luna Jr., LHRP
41. Eric Adler, RHRP
42. Garrett Schoenle, LHSP
43. Lane Ramsey, RHRP
44. Caleb Freeman, RHRP
45. Hunter Dollander, RHSP
46. Chase Solesky, RHSP
47. Godwin Bennett, RF
48. Wilber Sánchez, SS
49. Tyler Neslony, LF
50. Mario Camilletti, 2B
51. Sammy Peralta, LHRP
52. Jacob Burke, CF
53. Moisés Castillo, SS
54. Victor Quezada, 3B
55. Edgar Navarro, RHRP
56. Craig Dedelow, RF
57. Darío Borrero, 1B
58. Michael Turner, C
59. Tyler Osik, 1B
60. Haylen Green, LHRP
61. Mark McLaughlin, RHRP
62. Terrell Tatum, LF
63. Shawn Goosenberg, 2B
64. Randel Mondesí, LF
65. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
66. Declan Cronin, RHRP
67. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
68. Colby Smelley, C
69. Ethan Hammerberg, RHRP
70. Lincoln Henzman, RHRP
71. Vince Vannelle, RHRP
72. Brooks Baldwin, 3B-2B
73. James Beard, CF
74. Gabriel Rodríguez, RHSP
75. Ronny Hernandez, C
76. Troy Claunch, C
77. Brooks Gosswein, LHSP
78. Tim Elko, 1B
79. Yoelvín Silven, RHRP
80. Trey Jeans, LHRP
81. Jerry Burke, RHSP
82. Carlos Jiménez, 1B
83. Mason Adams, RHSP
84. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
85. Ernesto Jaquez, RHSP
86. Laz Rivera, 3B
87. Xavier Fernández, C
88. Álvaro Agüero, CF
89. Ben Norman, RF
90. Erick Bello, RHRP
91. Adisyn Coffey, RHRP
92. Arnold Prado, RF
93. Alsander Womack, 2B
94. Johan Domínguez, RHSP
95. Evan Skoug, C
96. Noah Owen, RHSP
97. Javier Mora, 2B
98. Will Kincanon, RHRP
99. Yohemy Nolasco, RHSP
100. Billy Seidl, RHRP
101. José Rodulfo, RHRP

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