The Minnesota Twins have to be thrilled with what they have seen from top prospect, Kyle Gibson, after his return from Tommy John surgery. After putting up good numbers in the minors in three stops following his rehab, Gibson has pitched three times in the Arizona Fall League and looks tremendous. Obviously, this is all terribly small sample sizes, but still. His success is enough to believe the elbow problem has been successfully corrected and he has a great chance to be the kind of pitcher they hoped he would be when the Twins drafted him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2009 draft.
We are always cautioned when it comes to the AFL. The games are played in the thin, dry air of Arizona and batting numbers are inflated and pitching results have to be taken with a grain of salt. Well, pass the Morton's then because Gibson is killing it.
He has started three games and pitched a total of thirteen innings. Yes, ultra small sample size, granted. But he has only allowed one run on thirteen hits and two walks and has struck out nineteen. Except for the 9.0 hits per nine innings, those are pretty gaudy numbers. And they follow right in line with his 28.1 innings pitched in the minors once he returned from his long rehab.
Gibson pitched at three different levels in the minors this year after getting cleared following his rehabilitation. And granted, he did get cuffed around at the Triple-A level for the six-plus innings he pitched there. But he did strike out ten batters and only walked one in those innings.
And it is those strikeout and walk peripherals that have to get the Twins all excited. After all, the Twins loooove guys who can throw strikes. In his 28.1 innings at all three levels in 2012, he struck out 10.5 batters per nine while only walking 1.9 per nine. Those are nice numbers to dream about, no?
So, if you follow his 19 strikeouts and only two walks in the AFL with what he did in those minor league innings and you see where this piece is going.
Kyle Gibson was one of the Twins' best prospects before he got hurt. And though the team and the organization will have to slowly build up his innings again, they again seem to have themselves a prize.