Will Gambino believes he would’ve been a very good collegiate hitter.
His aptitude at the plate could’ve even led him to the professional ranks one day.
That’s not why scouts are flocking to Paul VI High School though. In fact, Gambino’s .452 average and six home runs barely register at all.
Instead, it’s the senior’s mid-90s fastball that’s had Major League teams visiting his Haddonfield home since November, trying to learn more about a prospect that turned up on radars like a ballistic missile sailing through the sky last summer.
“When I was a hitter I never thought about the draft,” the 18-year-old said. “It was never a thing to me. I was content with being a Division-I hitter.”
He saw a new path the summer before his junior year.
At that point, Gambino, who’d played baseball since he was three, had already verbally committed to The Citadel as an outfielder.
The switch hitter could go deep as a lefty and righty, had great defensive range and showed off a tantalizing arm. He’d rarely used it on the mound though, only occasionally taking the bump for an inning or two.
“I was always able to spin breaking balls, that was my strong suit,” he said. “But fastball command was never there. It was just get up on the mound and throw as hard as you can.”
But Gambino never knew how hard, not until the Perfect Game Junior National Showcase in Fort Myers, Florida, in 2016. Gambino was there as an outfielder, and on the first day he was clocked throwing 93 back into the infield.