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Kyle Gibson a Top 20 Pitcher?

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#1 Doug Y

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:36 AM

Kyle Gibson is not a Top 20 pitcher right now. However, he has a BAA of .246, which is 17th best in the league. An OBP of .306, good for 19th. An OPS of .649, 9th place, and a BABIP of .265, which is 12th in the league. His WAR ranking is 23rd in the league at 1.4.

Teams are not hitting the ball that often or that hard against him this year. What does he need to do to take the next step and win more games? Better consistency? More strikeouts?

What does he need to do to be a Top 20 Pitcher?

#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:52 AM

He needs to miss more bats. Lots and lots of bats.

If he can do that while maintaining a solid groundball rate, he'll be just fine.

#3 Beezer07

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:55 AM

Needs to be more consistent. He's young, at least in terms of number of career starts, and he'll get better. But being consistently good, or at least reliable, is the goal

#4 nicksaviking

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:00 AM

Many people, including many Twins staffers think putting the ball in play is more efficient than strikeouts because theoretically you can get an out on one pitch. It's not happening though, instead, because Gibson and others aren't able to miss bats the batters are fouling off way too many pitches.

So yes, he needs to miss more bats.

#5 halfchest

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:04 AM

He needs to miss more bats. Lots and lots of bats.

If he can do that while maintaining a solid groundball rate, he'll be just fine.


I think it's coming eventually. Will he ever be a strikeout artist? No, but looking at his minor league numbers he did around 8 k/9 I expect him to get up around the 7 k/9 eventually and if he can do that along with his ground ball rates he'll be a solid 3rd pitcher in the rotation.

I've seen some make a Blackburn reference but I just don't see it, Blackburn was never a big strikeout guy like Gibson was. Thus far Gibson isn't striking guys out in the majors but I believe it will come eventually.

#6 Outlier

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:07 AM

I think we'll know he's reached a higher level when we see: an average of ~7 innings per start and an improved K/BB rate, one closer to 3.00 than 1.52.

#7 gunnarthor

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:10 AM

He's 5th in the AL in GB%. That helps him a lot. He's been inconsistent to say the least. He needs a few more strike outs and a few less walks. And I don't think there is any reason to think that won't happen. He just needs time.

#8 spycake

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:56 AM

I think it's coming eventually. Will he ever be a strikeout artist? No, but looking at his minor league numbers he did around 8 k/9 I expect him to get up around the 7 k/9 eventually and if he can do that along with his ground ball rates he'll be a solid 3rd pitcher in the rotation.


Andrew Albers was around 8 K/9 at Rochester last year too. Rate stats don't translate to MLB the same for all players.

So far, Gibson's career is looking like that of a young Mike Pelfrey a few years ago (groundballer, low K, average-ish BB rate), and his results seem similarly inconsistent.

#9 Seth Stohs

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:58 AM

He's getting so much movement on his pitches that 1.) not many are making solid contact against him, and 2.) he's walking a few too many. 1.) makes the strikeouts not quite as big of a deal, and 2.) is why he can get into trouble sometimes.

#10 halfchest

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:11 AM

Andrew Albers was around 8 K/9 at Rochester last year too. Rate stats don't translate to MLB the same for all players.

So far, Gibson's career is looking like that of a young Mike Pelfrey a few years ago (groundballer, low K, average-ish BB rate), and his results seem similarly inconsistent.


While true, Albers and Gibson are two different animals. There's a reason Gibson is in the rotation right now and Albers is in Korea. So yes, while the stats don't always translate to the big leagues, I think there's still a good chance that Gibson will improve his K rate but only time will tell.

I hope your Pelfrey comp is off, wouldn't be the end of the world as a mid rotation guy but I'm hoping he can be a bit better than that.
I hope you're wrong.

#11 spycake

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:22 AM

He's getting so much movement on his pitches that 1.) not many are making solid contact against him, and 2.) he's walking a few too many. 1.) makes the strikeouts not quite as big of a deal, and 2.) is why he can get into trouble sometimes.


This sounds like Deduno?

#12 PseudoSABR

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:36 AM

His rate stats certainly are encouraging but he's 40th in the AL in innings-pitched, right behind Correia. So he might be pitching top-20 innings, but he's not pitching enough of them, in my opinion, to be regarded as a top-20 guy.

#13 StormJH1

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:54 AM

Slow down. Phil Hughes as a Top 20 pitcher (or maybe Top 20 AL pitcher) may be a discussion. Gibson is not even close to that.

Anyone who's played fantasy baseball or tracks this stuff regularly knows how this turns out. It's not that pitchers can't find success if they fail to miss bats, it's just that they are so much more prone to wild ERA swings based on luck, defense, etc. Kyle Gibson is one of the worst starters in baseball at striking guys out. If you look at the top 40 in innings pitched (as referenced above), he is THE worst, save for Jeremy Guthrie. Even in a good defensive ballpark, that will eventually come back to bite you.

Someone above mentioned Mike Pelfrey. Pre-TJ Pelfrey is actually a pretty good comparison to what Gibson is doing right now. Both guys look big and throw reasonably hard, but are painfully bad at missing bats. Pelfrey would a year with an ERA in the high 3's, but it would be sandwiched with two years in the 5's. And that was in the NL.

I'm not being "down" on Gibson, I'm just being realistic. You don't usually "learn" to miss more bats in the majors. I would actually be more encouraged right now if his ERA were 4.70, but his K rate were 7.5. Gibson this year isn't walking a ton of people, and only has given up 4 HR's so far. What that means for his overall results is that you're basically looking at a "best case scenario" unless he strikes more guys out. Gibson is going to give up homers, and there will be times where the hits fall in bunches.

#14 spycake

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 12:00 PM

While true, Albers and Gibson are two different animals. There's a reason Gibson is in the rotation right now and Albers is in Korea. So yes, while the stats don't always translate to the big leagues, I think there's still a good chance that Gibson will improve his K rate but only time will tell.

I hope your Pelfrey comp is off, wouldn't be the end of the world as a mid rotation guy but I'm hoping he can be a bit better than that.
I hope you're wrong.


Albers was just one example. AAA league K/9 is around 8 right now, so Gibson was not displaying any standout skill. Can't always rely on those guys to translate their K ability to MLB.

It's hard to get a read on Pelfrey's early career as he didn't spend much time in the minors -- he had some early small sample BB/9 spikes, but by age 24, his first full MLB season, he had pretty much settled into a 3 BB/9, 5 K/9 guy, whose effectiveness was dependent on his BABIP fluctuations.

#15 Monkeypaws

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 01:24 PM

He's certainly showing the most promise at the ML level of a Twins first rounder since Garza. I hope his success continues.

#16 jokin

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:18 PM

He needs to miss more bats. Lots and lots of bats.

If he can do that while maintaining a solid groundball rate, he'll be just fine.


It's even simpler than that. He can be a decent P2C middling starter without the big K numbers IF he could just maintain his home GB% (58%) on the road (only 49.5%), coupled with a slightly better K% (13.1% @ home vs. 10.6% on the road), he'd be a pretty decent back-end starter. But yeah, a K more per 9 would definitely help.

His home/away split is unfathomably schizophrenic:

Home: ERA 1.54 FIP 2.95 xFIP 3.91 wOBA .240 GB/FB 2.53
Away: ERA 7.39 FIP 5.08 xFIP 4.95 wOBA .363 GB/FB 1.32

#17 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:24 PM

In order to be a top 20 pitcher Gibson would need a faster outfield plus an experienced center fielder. A solid everyday SS would help plus a 1B who has more experience at 1B.

#18 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:26 PM

It's even simpler than that. He can be a decent P2C middling starter without the big K numbers IF he could just maintain his home GB% (58%) on the road (only 49.5%), coupled with a slightly better K% (13.1% @ home vs. 10.6% on the road), he'd be a pretty decent back-end starter. But yeah, a K more per 9 would definitely help.

His home/away split is unfathomably schizophrenic:

Home: ERA 1.54 FIP 2.95 xFIP 3.91 wOBA .240 GB/FB 2.53
Away: ERA 7.39 FIP 5.08 xFIP 4.95 wOBA .363 GB/FB 1.32


It's too small a sample to draw solid conclusions.

#19 nathanaakre

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:29 PM

Anyone who's played fantasy baseball...


Ahh, you lost me there...

#20 drock2190

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:36 PM

According to rotographs hes the 143rd ranked pitcher.

Better temper your expectations going forward. Top 20 is pretty close to elite.



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