APTOS, Calif. (BVM) – The state of California is always loaded with pitching at the high school level. Aptos High School senior Gabe Gaeckle is right up there with the best of them.
The 5-foot-11 righthander has a four-pitch repertoire with his curveball standing out the most. Outside of stuff, Gaeckle has shown the ability to consistently stay in the zone and throw strikes.
— Dan Cummins (@DanCummins_) December 23, 2022
Prep Baseball Report has Gaeckle as the No. 111 prospect in the 2023 MLB Draft.
He began hearing from colleges as just a freshman, but when he suffered an injury shortly after that required Tommy John surgery, things slowed down a bit.
Gaeckle returned to the mound in the fall of his junior year and looked good as ever. The next day’s schedule was filled with phone calls with coaches from colleges across the country.
“It made me feel good,” Gaeckle said. “I didn’t know what to expect. To get the recognition from colleges made me feel like all of the hard work was paying off. That was a very joyful day for me and my family.”
He would go on to have a strong junior campaign, posting a 1.03 ERA that year and he would commit to the University of Arkansas the following summer.
Excited to announce my commitment to the university of Arkansas for my academic and athletic career! pic.twitter.com/MfvFaYwkJz
— gabe gaeckle (@GabeGaeckle) August 13, 2022
“Arkansas does a great job of winning and developing players,” Gaeckle said. “I wanted to put myself in an environment where I was gonna be pushed by my peers. Arkansas is gonna recruit the best kids in the country, so I’m gonna have to work my tail off to earn a role there.”
Throughout the summer leading up to his senior year, Gaeckle had the opportunity to compete at a few events where he would go head-to-head with some of the best in the nation. Not only did he show that he belonged, but he stood out as a top performer.
‘23 RHP Gabe Gaeckle (CA) gave a glimpse at electric upside early on.
FB: 92-94 (2630rpm 👀)
SL: 77-78 (3000+rpm)
HOP on the fastball w/ aptitude for spin. Lost zone some but upside is apparent.
— Shooter Hunt (@ShooterHunt) August 13, 2021
This was a big moment for the California righthander as he realized he might have a chance to do this baseball thing for a long time.
“I feel like I was able to hold my own and kind of prove that I was just as good as all of them,” Gaeckle said. “I kind of realized it’s getting serious now.”
If that was not good enough, he posted a 0.59 ERA as a senior this past spring with 117 strikeouts in 59 ⅓ innings.
Plenty of big league organizations would like to add Gaeckle to their farm system next month which will give the 18-year-old plenty to think about regarding his future.
From a data & arm action perspective not sure any pitcher intrigued me more than Gabe Gaeckle
Low release FB w/ some natural gyro & present + future velo that should play big time. Breaker has power + elite spin traits. Natural gyro could create some interesting traits on CH pic.twitter.com/PWg1wyE8x5
— Nathaniel Plotts (@nplotts5) August 20, 2021
“Whatever happens will happen,” Gaeckle said. “It’s something that I will have to talk over with my family and the small group of people that I make decisions with. I can’t be mad with either choice.”
The long-term goal for Gaeckle is to get to the major leagues, but either route will be able to get him to the show.
“The ultimate goal is obviously the big leagues,” Gaeckle said. “Everyone says they want to be a big leaguer when they’re a kid, but I feel like it may be getting a little bit more realistic for me that I might have a shot. Being in the big leagues in the next five, six, seven years is the ultimate goal.”