There is an old saying of 'Know Thy Enemy' and that 'one must keep their friends close but your enemies closer.' With only two weeks into the 2013, the Pawsox began a 8-game stretch at home going from today to April 17th. Their first opponents were the Rochester Red Wings. Taking the mound for the Rochester Red Wings was highly touted pitching prospect Kyle Gibson. Who is Kyle Gibson you ask?
Well you're about to find out.
Kyle Gibson was originally drafted in the 36th round by the Philadelphia Phillies of the 2006 MLB draft out of high school. Instead he chose to play at Missouri University. He then was drafted 22nd overall by the Minnesota Twins during the 2009 draft.
According to Baseball America, Gibson was the #61 ranked prospect in all of baseball prior to the 2010 season. He started the season at the Class-A Ft. Myers Miracle before moving up to AA New Britain Rock Cats and then to AAA Rochester. For the entire season in 26 appearances, Gibson went 11-6 in 152 innings of work, walked 39, struck out 126 and had an ERA of 2.96. He was awarded MiLB pitcher of the year in the Minnesota Twins organization
In 2011, Gibson moved up to be the #34 ranked prospect in all of baseball and started the season in Rochester. However his numbers dipped to a 3-8 record in appearances with 95 1/3 innings played. He walked 27, stuck out 91, but had an ERA of 4.81. But during the season, he suffered an elbow injury that ultimately led to Tommy John surgery.
Gibson made his comeback towards the end of the 2012 season, starting at the Gulf Coast League level for the GCL Twins before working back up into Rochester. For the season Gibson went 0-2 in 11 game appearances, starting in 11 of them. He pitched 28 1/3 innings, striking out 33 while walking 6. Still, he was ranked as the #8 overall prospect in the Twins organization.
Going into 2013, Gibson was ranked as the #4 overall prospect in the Twins organization. He started off with a ND against the Buffalo Bison on 4/5, going 5 innings while allowing 4 hits, 1 earned run, and striking out 4 on 78 pitches. He then took the mound this evening against the Pawtucket Red Sox as the Red Wings looked to play spoiler for the reigning 2012 Governor Cup Champions. Gibson looked strong for the first 2 innings, striking out 4 Pawsox players.
But then he gave up a 2-run home run to SS Jose Iglesias in the bottom of the 3rd, followed by a 5th inning where he was smacked around for 4 hits and 3 runs. He then finished the night with 4 1/3 innings, giving up 8 hits, 5 runs (all earned), while walking 1 batter and striking out 6 and was on hook for the loss as the Red Wings fell to the Pawsox 5-4.
Judging that the Boston Red Sox are starting to look a little bit weak in the back of their rotation, one can wonder if they would look to the Twins to make a trade for Gibson. He's still young (25), can throw a fastball in the lower 90s, and can rack up strikeouts like there's no tomorrow. It could happen if the cards fall into place but that's speculation. But one is for certain that the Pawsox will be seeing more of Gibson down the road this season when they face the Red Wings in future match ups.
-Ryan L. Fox
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