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Thread: Kyle Gibson a Top 20 Pitcher?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarheeltwinsfan View Post
    It's too small a sample to draw solid conclusions.
    No solid conclusions, to be sure, just noticing a definite trend, confirmed in his Pitch F/X, and it's a trend that reporters and no doubt, his manager, coaches, teammates and Gibson, himself are fully aware he needs to get a definite handle on.

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  3. #22
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Give Gibby some time. It is his first full season in the majors. He will eventually get there.
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    twitter: @thrylos98

  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarheeltwinsfan View Post
    It's too small a sample to draw solid conclusions.
    Well, yeah...but it's too small a sample to draw any conclusions positive or negative. It's a fair point to show just how wildly different Gibson's results have been home vs. away.

    All the numbers are so dramatically different it's a good place to start for his improvement.

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  6. #24
    For my two cents, there's an interesting story being told by Gibson's splits. His K-rate is pretty solid against right handed hitters, but against lefties his K-rate makes Nick Blackburn look like Nolan Ryan. To me, if you want to make him a top 20 pitcher, you have to figure out a weapon against lefties which probably means can you get Bobby Cuellar to get a better changeup out of him.

    I still think he's headed down the Scott Erickson path though, and that's not bad, but not top-20 either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALessKosherScott View Post
    I still think he's headed down the Scott Erickson path though, and that's not bad, but not top-20 either.
    And that's still a good comp, IMO. A guy who is serviceable with the occasional luck-driven year where he's really good.

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  10. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALessKosherScott View Post
    I still think he's headed down the Scott Erickson path though, and that's not bad, but not top-20 either.
    Careful not to shortchange Erickson. Here are his yearly AL ERA and IP ranks for his first 10 seasons:

    YEAR ERA IP Notes
    1990 4 23 (rookie year prorated to 32 starts)
    1991 12 24
    1992 14 22
    1993 40 16
    1994 40 28
    1995 29 16 (Baltimore half season prorated ranks: 13, 6)
    1996 24 12
    1997 11 10
    1998 14 1
    1999 25 2
    AVERAGE 21.3 15.4

    That looks like a top-20 starter to me, even with his disastrous last 2.5 seasons in Minnesota. (Throw those out and he's about top 15 on average.)

    By comparison, Gibson ranks 25th in ERA and 43rd in IP so far in 2014. If you prorate that to 32 starts and compare it to 2013 qualifiers, he'd rank 25th in ERA and 28th in IP. Still quite a ways to go to reach Erickson in either effectiveness or durability (not to mention longevity).

  11. #27
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    For fun, here are the ranks of my comparable Mike Pelfrey for his 4 full Mets seasons:

    YEAR ERA IP
    2008 18 16
    2009 43 31
    2010 26 16
    2011 44 27
    AVERAGE 32.75 22.5

    His two good years are very similar to Gibson's 2014 in not only BB/9 and K/9, but also FIP and low 0.5 HR/9 (half the league rate).

    The defining statistical feature of Pelfrey's two bad years? A league-average HR/9 rate (0.9-1.0), plus another ~0.4 H/9 over his good years too.

  12. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    And that's still a good comp, IMO. A guy who is serviceable with the occasional luck-driven year where he's really good.
    I think he has the chance to be much better than Scott Erickson. Scotty had a career 4.59 ERA. Gibson's FIP over the last two years is 4.52.

    I think his absolute floor is 4.30 or so when he peaks. Another guy I think he can get closer to, but not as good as is Brandon Webb. I use the comp because Webb only had 7.3 K per 9, but ended his career with a 3.27 ERA (NL). If that adjusts to 3.40 or so in the AL, I don't think Kyle can get there. But the closer he can get to these three numbers Webb put up the better off he will be:

    -7.2 K per 9 (high K's in the minors, have left)
    -64% GB rate (Kyle is at 54% now)
    -HR Rate of .6 per 9 (.52 so far this year, very low in the minors)

    I think movement and keeping the ball down is Kyle's strengths

  13. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    I think he has the chance to be much better than Scott Erickson. Scotty had a career 4.59 ERA. Gibson's FIP over the last two years is 4.52.
    Erickson's ERA was 4.27 through age 32, before his extended injury/hanger-on phase. And that was in a pretty good offensive environment, so it was a 105 ERA+. And remember, that was over 10 seasons, 2000 innings. Look at the ERA/IP rank chart I posted above. I think Erickson is getting under-rated around here, big time.

    Gibson right now is at 3.91 ERA, pretty much equal to his FIP, and it is only a 102 ERA+ in the current offensive environment.

    Oh, and league K/9 was a lot lower in Erickson's time (and BB/9 was actually slightly higher too), so even if Gibson matches his modest peripherals, he's not as likely to have sustained success with them in 2014 and beyond.

    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    I think his absolute floor is 4.30 or so when he peaks. Another guy I think he can get closer to, but not as good as is Brandon Webb. I use the comp because Webb only had 7.3 K per 9, but ended his career with a 3.27 ERA (NL). If that adjusts to 3.40 or so in the AL, I don't think Kyle can get there.
    Webb met or exceeded the league K/9 every season of his career, I believe. Gibson is at 60% of the league K/9 this year.

    Also, like Erickson, Webb was pitching in a much higher offensive environment. Webb's career 3.27 ERA was good for a 142 ERA+. That's like 2.90 in the present-day AL. Gibson has to work on sustaining 3.90 before we should even mention Brandon Webb.

  14. #30
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    Finally, do we have the exception to the rule that Pitch to Contact is a flawed concept?

    Through yesterday's game, here are the important 2014 stats for Gibson's success that rank in the Top 20 in the AL:

    FB%: 29.0% (8th)
    GB%: 54.8% (5th)
    LD%: 16.3% (4th)
    IFFB%: 16.4% (2nd)
    GB/FB: 1.89 (6TH)
    K%: 11.9% (3rd Worst)
    fWAR: 1.2 (Tied for 20th)

    In 3 starts in June, Gibson has improved on most of these stats, most striking are his June #s in:

    IFFB% of 35.7% which ranks 1st
    GB% of 64.4% which ranks 3rd
    LD% of 11.9% which ranks 2nd

    So even though he's not missing many bats, batters are either pounding it into the ground, or largely doing the next best thing to a strike out- weakly popping the ball up to an infielder. As the previous study suggested, Gibson is being hit, but ranks with the best in limiting hard hit balls. This phenomena seems to be more than purely luck-related.

    While he's definitely not a Top 20 pitcher, Gibson has apparently earned Gardy's confidence, when a strikeout was called for in high leverage situations- and even in the situation with 2 outs in the 7th, where Gardy in the past would surely have pulled Gibson- Gibson got weakly hit pop-ups or ground balls. So while SIERA loves Phil Hughes in June- Hughes sits at 2.69, while Gibson's SIERA for June comes in at 3.97......I think the Twins will be quite pleased if Gibson's ERA comes in somewhere close to that number as the season progresses.

  15. #31
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    A comment on Scott Erickson: Until he hurt his arm in '91, he wasn't just good, he was far better than that. He was an extreme GB pitcher with a moving hard sinker that hitters really struggled to square up or elevate. His sinker lost bite after he experienced the (elbow?) injury in '91. After that he had moments, including a no-hitter, but his stuff wasn't as good. He learned to pitch with merely good stuff and was pretty good for quite a while, but he was an earlier version of B Webb prior to the injury.

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  17. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post

    FB%: 29.0% (8th)
    GB%: 54.8% (5th)
    Wha?!? Top 8 in FB and GB? Does that seem strange to anyone? Clearly the lack of strikeouts will mean his other in-play percentages will be higher, but his LD% is also low. I can't tell if this is exceptional or lucky to the point that it's going to implode.

    How can he be getting guys to induce both a high number of weak ground balls and weak pop ups? It seems odd that his pitches would almost always be missing the square part of the bat both above AND below.

  18. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Finally, do we have the exception to the rule that Pitch to Contact is a flawed concept?

    Through yesterday's game, here are the important 2014 stats for Gibson's success that rank in the Top 20 in the AL:

    FB%: 29.0% (8th)
    GB%: 54.8% (5th)
    LD%: 16.3% (4th)
    IFFB%: 16.4% (2nd)
    GB/FB: 1.89 (6TH)
    K%: 11.9% (3rd Worst)
    fWAR: 1.2 (Tied for 20th)

    In 3 starts in June, Gibson has improved on most of these stats, most striking are his June #s in:

    IFFB% of 35.7% which ranks 1st
    GB% of 64.4% which ranks 3rd
    LD% of 11.9% which ranks 2nd

    So even though he's not missing many bats, batters are either pounding it into the ground, or largely doing the next best thing to a strike out- weakly popping the ball up to an infielder. As the previous study suggested, Gibson is being hit, but ranks with the best in limiting hard hit balls. This phenomena seems to be more than purely luck-related.

    While he's definitely not a Top 20 pitcher, Gibson has apparently earned Gardy's confidence, when a strikeout was called for in high leverage situations- and even in the situation with 2 outs in the 7th, where Gardy in the past would surely have pulled Gibson- Gibson got weakly hit pop-ups or ground balls. So while SIERA loves Phil Hughes in June- Hughes sits at 2.69, while Gibson's SIERA for June comes in at 3.97......I think the Twins will be quite pleased if Gibson's ERA comes in somewhere close to that number as the season progresses.
    Great breakdown.

  19. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    Wha?!? Top 8 in FB and GB? Does that seem strange to anyone? Clearly the lack of strikeouts will mean his other in-play percentages will be higher, but his LD% is also low. I can't tell if this is exceptional or lucky to the point that it's going to implode.

    How can he be getting guys to induce both a high number of weak ground balls and weak pop ups? It seems odd that his pitches would almost always be missing the square part of the bat both above AND below.
    Yep. I did a double-take as I was transcribing the stats, but I was motivated to check on the numbers because I noticed how many IF FB and GB he was getting last night. I had no idea where he ranked in FB%- stunning. And from game-to-game, Gibson's pitch chart can vary wildly from primarily down-in-the-zone to up-in-the-zone- so no help there. I was waiting for Cabrera or VMart to really sock one good last night, and they looked like they kept guessing wrong all night, resulting in very weakly hit balls.
    Last edited by jokin; 06-14-2014 at 07:47 PM.

  20. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    And that's still a good comp, IMO. A guy who is serviceable with the occasional luck-driven year where he's really good.
    It's not-so-much luck driven as it is sometimes his flaws don't show as deeply.

    Erickson was the #3 starter on the 1991 Twins, not some proto-Brandon Webb type. He was lights out against right-handed hitting that year (.191/.255/.290 2.62 K/BB) and challenged against left-handed pitching (.295/.363/.424 0.89 K/BB). Erickson had a great power sinker and slider, but not much else and that's not a good arsenal for getting lefties out.

    Gibson is pretty much operating with the same pitches. And you could see the pluses and minuses really clearly in the Tigers game. That sinker he threw to get Miguel Cabrera to ground into a bases-loaded double play was a thing of beauty, and his three strikeouts were all people chasing sliders out of the zone. But it's harder to get an opposite-hand hitter to chase a slider out of the zone. Not impossible, Andrew Romaine did. But harder. Example, the Alex Avila at-bat in the seventh. Gibson goes up 1-2 in the count, and then tries to get Avila to chase two sliders out of the zone, to which Avila lays off. Then, he fouls off a sinker and nails a 3-2 changeup into the gap for a double. Long story short, there's a reason Gibson is carrying a big lefty/righty spilt this year, as he did most of the way through the minors.

    Brandon Webb didn't become Brandon Webb until he developed a better changeup in 2006 to hold lefties at bay. Tim Hudson has his splitter. Roy Halladay had his curve. But for every pitcher who figures out a new wrinkle, there are ten power sinker pitchers like Erickson or Jeff Weaver who keep heading down the same path. So the question becomes what trick can Gibson come up with to stop lefties?

  21. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
    Erickson's ERA was 4.27 through age 32, before his extended injury/hanger-on phase. And that was in a pretty good offensive environment, so it was a 105 ERA+. And remember, that was over 10 seasons, 2000 innings. Look at the ERA/IP rank chart I posted above. I think Erickson is getting under-rated around here, big time.

    Gibson right now is at 3.91 ERA, pretty much equal to his FIP, and it is only a 102 ERA+ in the current offensive environment.

    Oh, and league K/9 was a lot lower in Erickson's time (and BB/9 was actually slightly higher too), so even if Gibson matches his modest peripherals, he's not as likely to have sustained success with them in 2014 and beyond.



    Webb met or exceeded the league K/9 every season of his career, I believe. Gibson is at 60% of the league K/9 this year.

    Also, like Erickson, Webb was pitching in a much higher offensive environment. Webb's career 3.27 ERA was good for a 142 ERA+. That's like 2.90 in the present-day AL. Gibson has to work on sustaining 3.90 before we should even mention Brandon Webb.
    The Webb comp was more style than anything. The more Gibson's GB/K rates come closer to Webb, the better off he will be. That was my point. Gibson will K more than 4.5 per 9, his stuff is too good to be in Carlos Silva territory. He was double that in the minors and had a decent 7.7 K per 9 in AAA just last year (post TJ).

    I think he could be a #2 starter and his recipe being a good GB rate, a low HR rate, and 6-7 K's per 9.

  22. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALessKosherScott View Post
    Brandon Webb didn't become Brandon Webb until he developed a better changeup in 2006 to hold lefties at bay. Tim Hudson has his splitter. Roy Halladay had his curve. But for every pitcher who figures out a new wrinkle, there are ten power sinker pitchers like Erickson or Jeff Weaver who keep heading down the same path. So the question becomes what trick can Gibson come up with to stop lefties?
    Most pitchers don't add the curve at this stage. You have already mentioned Cuellar's changeup. I was thinking of a japanese splitter.

  23. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    The Webb comp was more style than anything. The more Gibson's GB/K rates come closer to Webb, the better off he will be. That was my point. Gibson will K more than 4.5 per 9, his stuff is too good to be in Carlos Silva territory. He was double that in the minors and had a decent 7.7 K per 9 in AAA just last year (post TJ).

    I think he could be a #2 starter and his recipe being a good GB rate, a low HR rate, and 6-7 K's per 9.
    I know, you qualified your Webb comp, I was just fired up from my Erickson defense.

    Others certainly know his "stuff" better than I, but I don't think Gibson's minor league K rates are evidence of much of anything at this point.

  24. #39
    Gibby is looking good today. 8 Ks already!

  25. #40
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