Benji Gil

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Romar Benjamin Gil Aguilar

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Biographical Information[edit]

Benji Gil was the first Mexican native to be picked in the first round of Major League Baseball's amateur draft when he was selected 19th overall by the Texas Rangers in 1991. He played for Mexico in the 1999 Pan American Games, in which Mexico just missed qualifying for the 2000 Olympics. In the Bronze Medal Game, he hit third and played shortstop. Gil hit .267/.353/.400 as Mexico's third baseman in the 2007 Pan-American Games, helping them to a Bronze medal.

After being drafted by the Rangers Gil enjoyed a long playing career from 1991-2011. Between 1993 and 2003 he spent eight seasons in the majors with the Rangers and Anaheim Angels. Gil completed the U.S. portion of his playing career in 2005 though he was invited to the Kansas City Royals' spring training camp in 2007, but failed to make the team. After 2005 he moved to the Mexican League where he played several years to complete his career. In addition to summer baseball, he played with the Tomateros de Culiacán for 13 seasons in the winter Mexican Pacific League.

In his post-playing career Gil has managed a number of teams over the years.

  • 2014/2015 Manager Tomateros de Culiacán
  • 2015/2016 Manager Tomateros
  • 2017/2018 Manager Tomateros
  • 2019/2020 Manager Tomateros
  • 2020 Manager Mexico in the Olympics
  • 2020/2021 Manager Tomateros
  • 2021 Manager Mariachis of Guadalajara in the Mexican League
  • 2021/2022 Manager Tomateros
  • 2022/2023 Manager Tomateros

The 2022/2023 season started out rocky in Culiacán and Gil was fired in November. However, he was re-hired within hours after players protested the decision. “For us, he’s a leader, a leader to follow,” said Mexico catcher Alexis Wilson, who has also played under Gil in Culiacán. “He’s a mentor for me and for many, someone who has given us that confidence you need.”[1] Gil displayed his leadership qualities as manager of Mexico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The Mexican team upset the favored United States in pool play and advanced to the tournament semifinals for the first time where they lost to the eventual WBC winner Japan.

In 2022 he was named first base coach of the Los Angeles Angels to start the season. After manager Joe Maddon was fired, interim manager Phil Nevin shuffled his coaching staff and named Gil the Major League Field Coordinator with responsibility for infield defense. Gil returned to the Angels in 2023 as an infield coach.

Benji's son, Mateo Gil, was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2018 amateur draft.

Notable Achievement[edit]

Related Sites[edit]