Yankees starting pitcher Luis Gil throws in the bottom of the second...

Yankees starting pitcher Luis Gil throws in the bottom of the second inning against the Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla., on Feb. 24. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

TAMPA, Fla. — Bryce Harper had never heard of Luis Gil.

That changed March 11 when the Yankees played the Phillies at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater.

“Popped 100 [mph] a couple of times,” the two-time National League MVP and seven-time All-Star told Newsday on his way out of the visiting team’s batting cages at Steinbrenner Field about a half-hour before his Phillies played the Yankees to a 6-6 tie on Saturday. “He was like 97, 98 to the guys before me, then popped a couple of 100s against me. Any time you’re able to do that and locate it, that’s pretty good. I remember.”

Harper isn’t alone.

“Incredible,” said Phillies manager Rob Thomson, who spent 28 years in the Yankees’ organization, his last in 2017. “Extreme power with all his stuff.”

Phillies hitting coach Kevin Long, the Yankees’ hitting coach from 2007-14, emerged from the visiting cages shortly before first pitch Saturday.

“Best guy we faced all spring,” Long said of Gil, who threw 49 pitches (36 strikes) that day in Clearwater. “Stuff-wise, location. I know he’s not going to locate like he did that day, but that day, that’s the best stuff we’ve seen all spring.”

Several longtime scouts in attendance that afternoon separately called Gil’s performance — one in which he allowed one hit and a walk in 3 2⁄3 scoreless innings in which he struck out eight — among the most dominant outings they’d ever seen in a spring training game.

Said one American League scout: “It was kind of ridiculous.”

The outing, still talked about around the Yankees, catapulted the 25-year-old righthander squarely into contention for a roster spot when camp breaks early this coming week.

Though not as dominant in two appearances since then, Gil has done nothing to hurt his standing. In internal discussions, he has his share of support to be on the season-opening roster in some capacity, whether it be as a multi-inning reliever or as the No. 5 starter.

After Gil’s last start of spring training on Friday against the Mets, Aaron Boone said he had put forth “a really strong case” to be on the Opening Day roster.

Will Warren also has his share of organizational support for that job, and it remains possible that both he and Gil will make the roster.

The Yankees had an idea of what they had with Warren, generally regarded as their top pitching prospect, coming into camp. Their hope, and his, was that he would put together a Grapefruit League season that would put him on the radar to be an early option when the need for a starter arises, an inevitability during the course of a 162-game season in which most teams need at least 10 starters, often more.

Gil, on the other hand, was a little more of an unknown quantity. He entered spring training having not pitched in the majors in two years, the result of Tommy John surgery.

He was sent to minor-league camp March 3 to be further stretched out and was destined to start the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. That suddenly changed March 11 when Gil, pitching for a Yankees split-squad team, replaced Clayton Beeter (who also pitched well that afternoon with four scoreless innings) to begin the bottom of the fifth.

Gil struck out Alec Bohm swinging on a 97-mph fastball, Nick Castellanos went down swinging on a 98-mph fastball and, after a double by Whit Merrifield, Cristian Pache struck out swinging on a 97-mph fastball.

“He was missing a lot of bats,” Thomson said. “The fastball was outstanding and the slider was dominant, too.

“We knew they had just sent him out [to minor-league camp],” Thomson said, laughing. “We were saying [on the bench], ‘If they’re sending him out, what else they got?’ It was pretty impressive.”

It was Harper’s turn with two outs in the sixth after Kyle Schwarber grounded to second and Trea Turner popped to third. Harper swung and missed at a slider, then swung and missed on a changeup. After taking a 100-mph fastball for a ball, Harper cut and missed on another 100-mph heater.

Did he see major league-caliber stuff?

“Yeah,” Harper said without hesitation. “Any time you’re able to get a guy like that that already has the velo and stuff and you’re able to teach him a couple more things, that’s pretty good. [Throwing] 100 with a slider and changeup that they can locate with . . . If they can locate, it’s really good.”

Long said he was only vaguely familiar with Gil, which changed in a hurry.

“We were just surprised how good the stuff was,” Long said. “He was feeling it up that day. There were a lot of strikes with a lot of different pitches. The confidence was evident right away. Just looked like a guy who knew what he was doing, honestly.”

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