Benji Gil

Romar Benjamin Gil Aguilar (born October 6, 1972) is a Mexican former professional baseball infielder. He currently serves as the infield coach for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB), and as manager for the Tomateros de Culiacán of the Mexican Pacific League.

Benji Gil
Los Angeles Angels – No. 89
Born: (1972-10-06) October 6, 1972
Tijuana, Mexico
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 5, 1993, for the Texas Rangers
Last MLB appearance
July 31, 2003, for the Anaheim Angels
MLB statistics
Batting average.237
Home runs32
Runs batted in171
As player

As coach

Career highlights and awards
Men's baseball
Representing  Mexico
Pan American Games
2007 Rio de Janeiro Team

Early career

Gil was a star pitcher for Castle Park High School in Chula Vista, California. In 1990, he went 6–3 with 89 strikeouts and a San Diego County leading 0.52 earned run average.[1] As a senior in 1991, Gil pitched a no-hitter.[2] Gil was also a good hitter, however, and when the Texas Rangers selected Gil nineteenth overall in the 1991 Major League Baseball draft, it was as a shortstop.

Professional career

Texas Rangers

Gil displayed decent power, clubbing nine home runs for the South Atlantic League's Gastonia Rangers in 1992. He made his major league debut in the 1993 season opener at twenty years old, going 0-for-3 with a walk in four plate appearances.[3] By late May, however, he was back in the minors with the double A Tulsa Drillers after batting .123 with two runs batted in for the Rangers.

He would not return to the majors until the 1995 season. On May 3, his first major league home run accounted for the Rangers' lone run in a 5–1 loss to the Seattle Mariners.[4] He followed this up with home runs in his next two games[5][6] on his way to a career best nine for the season. He also appeared in a career high 130 games, and posted career highs in runs batted in (46), runs (36), hits (91) and extra-base hits (32), while also providing a steady glove at short (.974 fielding percentage, and a league leading 5.18 range factor per nine innings as a shortstop).

A herniated disc in Spring training kept Gil off the 1996 opening day roster.[7] By the time he was ready to return, off-season acquisition Kevin Elster had won the starting job, and Gil found himself back in the minors with the Oklahoma City 89ers. He received a call up to the majors that September, and was 2-for-5 in seven plate appearances. He was once again the Rangers' starting shortstop in 1997.

Calgary Cannons

Gil was traded following the 1997 season to the Chicago White Sox for pitchers Al Levine and Larry Thomas. Gil spent his one season in the White Sox organization with the Pacific Coast League's Calgary Cannons, where he batted .248 with fourteen home runs and 69 RBIs (a career high for Gil at any level). Coincidentally, Gil also spent the 1999 season with Calgary after they became a Florida Marlins affiliate, and he was drafted by the Marlins in the 1998 minor league draft.

Anaheim Angels

Just as spring training 2000 was set to begin, Gil signed as a free agent with the Anaheim Angels. Slated to be the backup to incumbent Gary Disarcina, Gil soon found himself starting when an injury ended Disarcina's season.[8] David Eckstein became the Angels' starting shortstop in 2001, with Gil sliding into a backup middle infielder role.

In 2002, Gil actually saw more playing time at second base than he did at short. He had a far more limited role than he had his previous two seasons in Anaheim, however, he made it to the post season for the only time in his career. In game two of the 2002 American League Division Series against the New York Yankees, Gil had an RBI single off Andy Pettitte.[9] In game four, he was 3-for-3 with a run scored.[10] In the Angels' 2002 World Series victory over the San Francisco Giants, Gil went 4-for-5 with a double and a run scored.[11]

Minor League journeyman

Gil's 2003 season got off to a slow start, going 0 for his first 14 at bats. The Angels released him in early August with a .192 batting average, one home run and nine RBIs. Shortly afterwards, he signed with the Cleveland Indians. He was released at the end of the season after batting .139 for the triple A Buffalo Bisons. Over the next two seasons, Gil spent time in the Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners and New York Mets organizations, but failed to make the Major League roster of any of these teams. Along the way, he also landed on the Mexican League's Tijuana Toros.

When the Mets released Gil in July 2005, it would turn out to be his final stint with a major league franchise. After finishing out the 2005 season with the New Jersey Jackals of the Canadian-American Association, Gil would spend the next six seasons playing ball in Mexico. In 2007, he won the Mexican League Championship with Sultanes de Monterrey. He spent one last season with the Fort Worth Cats of the North American League before retiring.[12]

Career statistics

Games PA AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO HBP Avg. Slg. Fld%
604 1767 1610 158 381 75 12 32 171 24 102 448 7 .237 .358 .966

Gil pitched once while in the Chicago Cubs organization, once in the Mets organization and once for the Jackals. He pitched a total of four innings, allowing two hits and no earned runs.

Coaching career

Tomateros de Culiacán

Gil's coaching career began in 2014, as he became manager for the Tomateros de Culiacán of the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), a winter ball club where he previously played for 13 seasons and won six championships with.[13] He led the team to a championship in his first season, and was later brought back for the 2015–16 season. In 2015, the Tomateros posted a disappointing 28–40 record and did not make the playoffs, leading to Gil's firing after the season.[14] After another disappointing year in 2016, the Tomateros announced that Gil would return as manager for the 2017–18 season.[15] The Tomateros won their second title under Gil, defeating the Mayos de Navojoa in the LMP Championship Series 4 games to 3. After the season, Gil surprisingly announced he was stepping down as manager in order to attend to personal and family matters.[16] However, Gil once again returned as manager following another mediocre campaign in 2018, and went on to win back-to-back championships during the 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons.

Mariachis de Guadalajara

Gil was named the inaugural manager of the Mariachis de Guadalajara, an expansion franchise of the Mexican Baseball League (LMB) that began play in the 2021 season.[17] He led them to a stellar 46–17 regular season record, a first-place finish in the LMB North division, and a playoff berth. However, the Mariachis fell to the eventual league-champion Toros de Tijuana in the North Division Championship Series.[18] Gil was voted LMB Manager of the Year following the season.[19]

Mexico national team

In 2021, Gil was selected as manager for the Mexico national team at the 2020 Summer Olympics.[20] Mexico went 0–3 and failed to medal, suffering losses to the Dominican Republic, Japan, and Israel.[21]

Los Angeles Angels

On January 5, 2022, Gil was announced as a new coach for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB) for the 2022 season.[22]

Personal life

Gil was born in Mexico, but grew up in Chula Vista. His mother died while he was in high school. He and his wife, Carly, reside in Keller, Texas with their two children, Mateo and Gehrig. Mateo was drafted in the third round of the 2018 Major League Baseball draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.[23]


  1. Lindgren, Jim (March 28, 1991). "San Diego's Best? Scouts Are Drawn to a Pair of Aces". Los Angeles Times.
  2. "HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP : Castle Park Wins With Gil No-Hitter". Los Angeles Times. May 2, 1991.
  3. "Texas Rangers 7, Baltimore Orioles 4". April 5, 1993.
  4. "Seattle Mariners 5, Texas Rangers 1". May 3, 1995.
  5. "Texas Rangers 9, Oakland A's 4". May 5, 1995.
  6. "Texas Rangers 4, Oakland A's 2". May 6, 1995.
  7. Lutz, Michael (March 5, 1997). "Gil benefited from season in minors". Associated Press.
  8. "Mets Roster & Staff".
  9. "2002 American League Division Series, Game 2". October 2, 2002.
  10. "2002 American League Division Series, Game 4". October 5, 2002.
  11. "2002 World Series". October 19–27, 2002.
  12. Teeple, Devon (May 24, 2012). "Former Ranger Benji Gil Suits Up for Forth Worth". Bleacher Report.
  13. Castro, Rubén (March 17, 2014). "Tomateros: Benji Gil sí, Eddie Díaz, Fermín y Sojo no". (in European Spanish). Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  14. "Paga Benjamín Gil por desastre de 'Tomateros' en la temporada 2015-2016". (in Spanish). April 5, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  15. "Benji Gil regresa al timón de Tomateros, un año después de ser cesado". (in European Spanish). April 21, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  16. "Campeón Benji Gil sorprende al dejar timón de Tomateros en LMP". (in European Spanish). August 14, 2018. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  17. "Mariachis de Guadalajara contratan como su manager al exligamayorista Benjamín Gil". (in European Spanish). March 31, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  18. "Toros de Tijuana vence a Mariachis y avanza a la Serie del Rey". (in European Spanish). September 4, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  19. "LMB: Benjamín Gil es electo Manager del Año 2021 de la LMB". (in European Spanish). November 15, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  20. "COMUNICADO CONJUNTO: CONADE, LMB, FEMEBE: Benjamín Gil: manager de México para los Juegos Olímpicos de Tokio". (in Spanish). June 11, 2021.
  21. "Selección mexicana de beisbol, eliminada de Tokio 2020 tras hilar tercera derrota". (in European Spanish). August 1, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  22. Adler, David (January 5, 2022). "Angels add Nevin, Gil, Haselman as coaches". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved August 16, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. "Cardinals' Mateo Gil: Heading to St. Louis". CBS Sports. June 5, 2018.
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