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Waiting in the Wings: Kyle Gibson

Could the Twins top pitching prospect be on the verge of a call up?


If you think this topic/headline seems familiar it's because I wrote about Gibson in early April. It might seem like a copout to return to him so soon, but I do so for a few reasons. Firstly, Gibson has been heating up in Triple-A, throwing 17 innings with 15 strikeouts against five walks and five hits in his last two games. Secondly, I think this hot streak (two complete games and an eight inning start in his last four games) and the Twins mess of a rotation, has Gibson on the brink of a major league call up. Thirdly, while I was able to talk about Gibson's arsenal in the previous article, I recently learned how to GIF, and wanted to be able to show his pitches to you both in case he does receive a call up in the near future and because I think it could be helpful in understanding what exactly I'm talking about when describing pitches. Lastly, the reason I'm doing this is because I'm sick and this is the most I could do under the circumstances.

Fastball/Sinker: Gibson can run his fastball up into the mid 90s but will generally sit in the lower 90s. His fastball could be described as heavy, and it's a real wormburner. He gets good movement on it and demonstrates strong command of the pitch. Gibson uses his 6'6 frame well, generating good plane on his pitches, furthering his groundball tendencies.


I chose this pitch because I think it best illustrates Gibson's fastball/sinker. This is a great example of showing what people mean when they talk about "plane". You can see the extreme angle that Gibson gets on the pitch and it only accentuates the hard movement that he gets on the pitch. Gibson isn't a huge strikeout pitcher, but, as in this GIF, he will generate a lot of weak contact with his heavy fastball. That doesn't mean he's the standard pitch to contact guy though - he can strike out enough guys to be fantasy relevant.

Slider: His best secondary pitch is his slider, which can be a swing and miss pitch at times, but lacks overall consistency. It arrives in the low 80s and shows good shape and tilt, with late bite. The feel for the slider has not come all the way back since his surgery, but command tends to be the last thing that does.


Holy hell look at that thing move. That pitch right there is why I think he isn't your normal Twins' pitching prospect. That's a swing and miss pitch, and he broke off a bunch of them during this game (this footage is from his May 25, 2013 start against Charlotte where he went 8 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 KK).

Change Up: Gibson also shows an above-average change up that can generate swings and misses. It has fastball arm speed and disguises itself well, with a bit of sinking action. All of these pitches play up due to his advanced feel for pitching.


This was a change up per the announcer in the game, though if that is correct, that's more than a little bit of sinking action. Point is that Gibson has three average or better pitches to attack hitters with, and we're very close to the point in the season when prospects like Gibson get called up. He's not Zack Wheeler in regards to impact, but he can definitely supply solid innings and depth. He's Michael Wacha without all the insane hype. I hope this was useful in demonstrating exactly what someone means when describing the actions of a pitcher or pitch. Let me know if you like this kind of stuff and I can incorporate it more often in the future.

Source Material
Baseball Reference

You can follow me on Twitter at @cdgoldstein
You can find more of my work at The Dynasty Guru and MLB Draft Insider