Player Spotlight: Kyle Gibson

While I am well aware that a 30 year old pitcher on a bad team with no run support is not sexy in fantasy, but Kyle Gibson is currently in the middle of a breakout season and is flying under the radar.  He is experiencing the highest K per 9 (8.80), Strikeout percentage (23.6%) and lowest average batting against (.221) of his career.  While his walk rate is a career high (9.5%), his WHIP in contrast is a career low (1.21).  At 30 years old, his velocity is the fastest of his career (92.8 mph), while his swinging strike rate is also his highest mark (12.1%).

Kyle Gibson’s last 7 starts:

  • 7.0 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO:  14 Swinging Strikes (@CHICAGO WHITE SOX)
  • 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO:  11 Swinging Strikes (@MILWAUKEE BREWERS)
  • 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 9 SO:  20 Swinging Strikes (BALTIMORE ORIOLES)
  • 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO:  16 Swinging Strikes (TAMPA BAY RAYS)
  • 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO:  16 Swinging Strikes (@KANSAS CITY ROYALS)
  • 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO:  17 Swinging Strikes (@BOSTON RED SOX)
  • 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO:  10 Swinging Strikes (CLEVELAND INDIANS)

3.88 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 8.94 K/9, 2.72 BB/9, 36.0% O-Swing, 14.3% Swinging Strike Rate

Gibson can attribute his step forward to his improved slider command.  In 2017, he threw his slider 17.67% of the time.  This pitch had a solid 21.38% swinging strike rate and a swing rate of 46.87%, but was getting hit hard by opposing batters to the tune of a .356 BABIP and the pitch had a -1.8 pVAL.  In 2018, he has increased his slider usage to 21.56%, resulting in an increased swinging strike rate of 27.37% with a swing rate of 51.37%.  This has translated to a .125 batting average against, a .235 BABIP and a 9.4 pVAL.  Pretty drastic change.

His changeup was considered his best pitch in 2017, getting opponents to chase 49% of the time.  In 2017, he threw his changeup 15.65% of the time, resulting in a 16.59% swinging strike rate and a 58.05% swing rate with a .300 BABIP against and a 2.3 pVAL.  In 2018, his changeup usage has decreased to 10.58%, creating an 18.45% swinging strike rate and a 52.36% swing rate.  The pitch only has a pVAL of 1.1, but opposing batters are hitting .146 against with a .132 BABIP.

Kyle Gibson has impressed in this recent small sample size and has remained consistent for the entire 2018 season.  He is a great buy low candidate and can be acquired for next to nothing, and he just might be on your waiver wire.

While I am not seeing potential ace in his future, he can be a solid fixture in your fantasy rotation and may be helpful in the playoffs. Gibson’s next start is tonight at Cleveland.

 

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Matt Bishop

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Matt Bishop is a graduate of Rider University and currently works as a Project Manager for an Electrical Supply Distributor. He lives in North NJ with his wife and 2 children and is a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia Phillies fan. He has been playing Fantasy Football since 1997 and Fantasy Baseball since 2003. He recently discovered Fangraphs and his obsession for baseball metrics and how they can be used to draft a championship caliber team.