2015 Season in Review: Michael Gibbons | Astromets Mind

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

2015 Season in Review: Michael Gibbons

Image from this announcement about his signing

The undrafted college free agent from the 2014 class took a debut tour of the system in 2015, making starts from Brooklyn to Binghamton, and everywhere in between

2015 with Brooklyn: 2 GS, 1 CG, 10.2 IP, 5.91 RA/5.91 ERA/3.98 FIP, 11 H, 7 R, HR, 10 K: 3 BB (21.7 K%: 6.5 BB%)

2015 with Savannah: 6 GS, 1 CG, 34.1 IP, 4.46 RA/2.88 ERA/4.33 FIP, 43 H, 17 R (11 ER), 3 HR, 23 K: 11 BB (15.3 K%: 7.3 BB%)

2015 with St. Lucie: 3 GS, 1 CG, 4.00 RA/3.50 ERA/2.78 FIP, 17 H, 8 R (7 ER), 11 K: 3 BB (14.9 K%: 4.1 BB%)

2015 with Binghamton: 1 GS, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, HR, 3 K: BB

2015 Totals: 12 GS, 3 CG, 4.54 RA/3.63 ERA/3.92 FIP, 75 H, 35 R (28 ER), 5 HR, 47 K: 18 BB (15.9 K%: 6.1 BB%), 0.65 HR/9, 68.9 LOB%, .275 AVG, .317 BABIP

            It’s a crazy world we live in, and sometimes all it takes is being in the right place at the right time for something to happen that changes your life. For Mets prospect Michael Gibbons, the right place and time was the FCBL Pro Day on July 26th, 2014, because Mets special assistant to the GM J.P. Ricciardi happened to be in attendance that day. Gibbons would show off 95 MPH heat with his 4-seamer in front of the Mets exec, and then signed a free agent contract with the Mets just a few weeks later. He’d have to wait 10 months to make his pro debut in a spot start for St. Lucie, but it was well worth the wait, as he went 7 scoreless with 4 K’s and only 2 singles allowed. This started a crazy few months for Gibbons, who went on to start at 4 different levels, with mostly solid results. I was able to catch 3 of his starts on MiLB.tv, and he’s a relative unknown who snuck onto the Baseball America Mets top-30, so I wanted to take a closer look at what the Mets have with Gibbons. Since he never stayed with one team for more than 6 starts, I’m not going to bother looking at his splits, but I will point out that he was better against RHB’s in 2015.

            Gibbons strong 2015 debut was not a surprise for at least one person in the Mets organization, as Brooklyn Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa saw plenty of him while helping in the Mets extended Spring Training last year. Gamboa told the Brooklyn media that Gibbons was the standout pitcher from the XST, and it was Gamboa who petitioned for Gibbons to get the spot starts with St. Lucie and Binghamton. Gibbons sits 91-93 MPH with a low effort delivery, and mixes in a changeup and slider that BA graded as below-average pitches. I saw him get a lot of swinging strikes with the breaking balls, as you can see below, so they at least flash potential. His stuff plays up due to good control, which he should maintain thanks to what BA described as, “free-and-easy motion… and repeatable mechanics,” in their 2016 Prospect Guidebook.
It’s not a sexy profile yet, but he has the stuff to compete in the upper levels of the minor leagues, and that’s a lot more than he was given credit for just under 2 years ago. Like most young hurlers, he’s better at living around the strike zone than commanding to specific spots, but he attacked all zones, which helps keep him stay unpredictable. 2016 should offer us a better idea of what Gibbons can do, as he won’t be shuffled between 4 teams over 3 months, and he’s coming off a successful debut instead of coming in as an unknown. This should give Gibbons a chance to consistently work with some coaches, and to face opponents who actually have a scouting report on him. Given the BA report on his secondary stuff, his most likely outcome is as a reliever at the highest level, but that would still be a great outcome for the Mets – maybe not a diamond in the rough, but still a 500 Euro note (~$560). But he is relatively inexperienced and still not quite 23 (birthday is 4/24), and he’s clearly come a long way over the past two years, so who is to say what his upside is? He’ll probably start the year in St. Lucie, where new pitching coach Marc Valdes is back in the role he served in with Brooklyn during the 2012-13 seasons, and with Binghamton the year before that. He’ll also have former St. Lucie pitching coach Phil Regan nearby, as The Vulture is staying in St. Lucie as pitching coach for rehabbing players after spending the last 8 seasons in Valdes’ new role.

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