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Fantasy Baseball Sleeper: Kyle Gibson

fantasy baseball sleeper
fantasy baseball sleeper

March 7, 2013; Clearwater, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (32) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With Vance Worley being sent down, the Twins continue to reshuffle their rotation and bring in young arms. Kyle Gibson seemed to be a no-brainer to be called up but was passed over Friday for Samuel Deduno and for P.J. Walters on Saturday. With both on the iffy side, Gibson will undoubtedly get the next call – and soon.

Deduno, who looked impressive in the WBC, putting up a 0.69 ERA over 13 IP, struggled and gave up six in his first start of the year. PJ Walters looked solid in his first start but put up a 5.69 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 61.2 IP last season. Mike Pelfrey and Scott Diamond aren’t getting it done. The Twins have literally exhausted all their other options and calling up the 49th top prospect in the country is becoming inevitable.

For fantasy players, this could be a big get. At 25, he is far more seasoned than most prospects and entering his fourth pro season he has a solid 336 minor league innings under his belt. While consistency has been somewhat of an issue, there is no denying Gibson is destined to be a good starter.

This season Gibson is 4-5 with a 2.82 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 53 K/17 BB over 60 innings in Triple-A. In his career, Gibson is 18-21 with a 3.56 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, and a miniscule 0.6 HR/9.

How good is Gibson? In his very first season in the minors, he rocketed from Single-A to Double-A to Triple-A, posting a combined 11-6, 2.96 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 126 K in 152 IP. One could make the case that he was ready then. He struggled a bit with his consistency and gave up 10.5 H/9 in 2012 but has come back strong this season and has lowered his H/9 way down to 7.1.

The Twins are ranked 28th in ERA and 29th in WHIP and BAA so the likelihood of more rotation changes is pretty good to say the least. At the same time, Gibson has really turned it up in the minors of late, pitching two complete game shutouts in his last four games. Since May 8, Gibson has surrendered just four runs, 16 hits, eight walks, and struck out 26 in 29 innings pitched.

The Twins want to wait for him to work on his consistency (he has given up four or five runs in three of his 10 starts this year) but with their staff made up of an underwhelming group who have a combined 4.65 ERA on the season, the next time there’s an opening, Kyle Gibson is sure to fill it.

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