Pitcher preview: Kyle Gibson

Hannah Foslien

A groundball machine.

This isn't actually the first time the Rays have faced Kyle Gibson (they got to him for four runs off four hits and four walks last July), but the 26 year old is till new to the league. Gibson, a college pitcher out of the University of Missouri, missed much of the 2012 season with Tommy John Surgery, but has recovered well and pitched himself into the Twins rotation this Spring. He has yet to accumulate strikeoutsat the major league level, but given his minor league record and the quality of his stuff, it would be wishful thinking to decide that a 12% strikeout rate was his true talent.

What we do know about Gibson, though, is that he will force ground balls. Check out his pitches, and imagine them coming in on a downward plane from his long, 6' 6" frame.

5020432014040120140421aaaaamovement_medium

via pitchfx.texasleaguers.com

The fastballs average in the low 90s, while the changeup and slider are in the low 80s. He's fairly traditional in that his changeup is there just to face lefties. With two strikes against batters on both of the plate, Gibson goes to his slider looking for the strikeout (40% of the time against righties, 22% of the time against lefties according to Brooks Baseball).

The main event here, though, is Gibson's two-seam fastball that has good sink. Both it and his changeup have produced a ground ball 60% of the time that they've been put in play, which gives him a career groundball rate over 50%.

Gibson works like the archetypal groundball pitcher. He gives hitters a steady diet of pitches down and away, often off the outside of the plate or below the knees.

Against lefties:

Against righties:

I'm not usually a proponent of the "don't be greedy and evil and try to pull the ball philosophy" that is so often repeated in baseball circles, but truly, this is going to be one of the days where the maxim applies. Take pitches when they're away and force Gibson to come into the zone. When he does, hit the ball where it's pitched. Also, hope you find the holes in the infield.

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker