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Profile: Kyle Gibson
photo: Kyle Gibson   
Name: Kyle Gibson
Height/Weight: 6-6 / 195
Date of Birth: 10/23/87
School: Missouri Rank: 30
Gibson is the latest in a recent trend of talented, hard-throwing right-handed pitchers, following fellow draft-eligible righty Aaron Crow and current big-leaguer Max Scherzer. While both of those two pitchers were all about their power fastballs, Gibson's claim to fame is an absolutely wicked slider that could profile as the single best pitch of those thrown by '09 draft eligibles. And that isn't to say Gibson doesn't throw hard. He sits in the upper-80s to low-90s, and can max out around 93-94. His fastball can straighten out, and he struggles to command the pitch at times, often relying far too much on his slider than he should. His changeup also shows the potential to be a plus-pitch, giving him a solid three-pitch repertoire. Built tall and lean, Gibson has very long, skinny yet strong limbs and a narrow waist. With wide shoulders and solid through the waist, there is plenty of room for Gibson to fill out and continue to add strength. His arm action works wells, although he can overthrow his fastball, which, as noted above, causes him to fall a little too much in love with his slider. With a big, angular leg kick, Gibson's delivery can be on the slow side, even out of the stretch, which makes him easier to run off of, but that hasn't been as big of a problem during his college career given his knack for limiting baserunners. He has all of the talent to succeed at the highest of levels, but my biggest concerns with Gibson at this point in time have to do with his fastball. A little added movement to go along with more confidence in the pitch will allow him to succeed more as a starter. If he continues to rely on his slider to succeed, he could end up in a short-relief role, a role he is plenty familiar with since only 23 of his 68 appearances during his college career, which includes one summer spent on the Cape and another with Team USA, have been as a starter. That's not the worst thing in the world, since his slider and stature are quite similar to those of Brad Lidge.

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