Prospect Review – Kyle Gibson


The next prospect up for review is Kyle Gibson, pitcher for the Minnesota Twins.

The Basics
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Drafted by the Minnesota Twins with the 22nd pick in the 2009 amateur draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 23

Scouting Reports and Statistics
The Baseball Cube

Lev   W L  ERA GS   IP  H HR BB SO  WHIP
A+    4 1 1.87  7 43.1 33  2 12 40 1.038
AA    7 5 3.68 16 93.0 91  5 22 77 1.215
AAA   0 0 1.72  3 15.2 12  0  5  9 1.085

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/26/2011.
 

Prospect Ranks
Hardball Times: #1 (MIN – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #30 (Overall –  2011), #14 (SP – 2011)
Bullpen Banter: #16 (SP – 2011)
MLB.COM: #40 (Overall – 2011)
Baseball America: #1 (MIN – 2011)
John Sickels: #1(MIN – 2011) B+
Scouting Book: #7 (RHP – 2011), #24 (Overall – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #1 (MIN – 2011)

Analysis

Gibson was drafted by the Twins in the first round of the 2009 draft out of the University of Missouri, and signed for a $1.8 Million signing bonus.  Gibson fell a bit in the draft, as he missed 6 weeks of playing time in his last college season due to a stress fracture in his right forearm. It appears that had he not suffered this injury, he likely would have been a top-10 pick.

He did not make his professional debut until 2010, and started the season with the Twins High-A affiliate in Fort Myers. He advanced quickly, making it all the way up to AAA before the end of the season. During 2010, he posted an 11-6 record with a 2.96 ERA and 126 strikeouts against 39 walks in 152 innings total.

From ESPN’s scouting report pre-draft on Gibson:

He’s tall and projectable, already showing a solid-average fastball at 89-93 mph with good downhill plane. His changeup is ahead of his slider, although both project as above-average pitches; he turns the changeup over well and gets good fading action on it, while the slider is less consistent, at times showing good bite and tilt but at others going a little soft. On days when he has the sharp slider, he’ll miss plenty of bats. His command and control have always been above-average.

I like what I am hearing about him overall, as it sounds like he could very well be a solid major league pitcher. Another snippet, from Saberscouting’s report on him from 2008:

Mechanics – Smooth, easy arm action, shouldn’t have serious arm problems. Very little effort. Has a pause in his delivery just before his release, allows his arm to catch up. Drifts out over the rubber, weight leaks forwards, costs him a few ticks of his velocity. Doesn’t drive with his legs, relies on his fast arm. Throws over the top, creating good downward action. No windup.

Overall, it sounds like he will continue to move quickly through the Twins’ system, and could be Minnesota very soon.

Outlook

I have read a few different reports where he is mentioned as a possible #2/#3 starter candidate, and the numbers to this point make me think that is possible. He does well to control his walks compared to his strikeouts, and appears to keep the ball in the park fairly well (7 homers last year in 152 innings). He received an invite to Spring Training from the Twins, and while I don’t think he will make the team out of there, he could be up before the end of the season.

Prediction for 2011

10 wins, 3.50 ERA, 125 strikeouts, 40 walks, 150 innings pitched (AAA)

Expected ETA

A callup in 2011 isn’t out of the question, but if he struggles at AAA I could see him staying there until 2012.

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