With the 22nd overall pick of the 2009 MLB amateur draft, the Minnesota Twins selected pitcher Kyle Gibson out of the University of Missouri Columbia. Almost five years later, Gibson is quickly becoming one of the Twins’ most consistent starting pitchers.
Tonight, Gibson threw seven scoreless frames in a no-decision against the Cleveland Indians, marking his third quality start of the season. In six starts this season, Gibson has now allowed one run or fewer four times. Gibson’s third quality start ties him with Kevin Correia and Phil Hughes for the team lead in quality starts. He is also tied with Hughes and reliever Casey Fien for the team lead in wins with three.
While this is notable, it has been Gibson’s ability to work deep into the game that is truly impressive. Gibson has completed at least six innings in four of his six starts this season. Over the past few seasons, Twins starting pitchers have struggled to work into the sixth inning, but Gibson has shown little to no issue with this.
Admittedly, Gibson has hit a few bumps in the road along the way. He allowed seven earned runs to the Tampa Bay Rays and also five earned runs to the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, some struggles are to be expected for a young pitcher who is still getting a feel for the major leagues.
While it is unlikely that the Twins will compete for a division title in 2014, Gibson’s early season success is still worth celebrating. If Gibson can continue to pitch well, gaining experience along the way, he could be a fixture in the Twins’ starting pitching rotation for years to come.