Derrik Gibson Scouting Report (2010)
Entering 2010, Boston Red Sox prospect Derrik Gibson‘s prospect bubble was filled with helium. As the season draws to a close, his .241/.310/.319 line has sapped much of his prospect mojo. However, Gibson has chipped in thirty stolen bases and continues to play shortstop which are both pluses. Will 2011 be a rebound year for the former second round pick?
Physical Projection: At a listed height of 6’1″ and weighing a svelte 170 lbs., Gibson may be the leanest athlete I’ve seen this season. His wiry frame is well-defined, but one can’t help but have concerns about his ability to add size. When projecting a prospect’s ability to pack pounds onto his frame, present quadricep, forearm, and calve size are key indicators to consider. If a player is thin, but has some natural size in those areas, future growth becomes easy to assess. With Gibson, he was extremely lean throughout forcing me to wonder if Gibson’s eating all the peanut butter and ice cream in South Carolina would even make a dent. Even more worrisome was a general lack of explosion and fluidity. Often times a player has one or the other. In Gibson’s case, he had a touch of both, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Offense: While scouts spend quite a bit of time discussing the amount of effort in a pitcher’s delivery, there’s also something to be said about effort in terms of swing and projecting future power. Prospects like Dustin Pedroia were knocked as max effort swingers with some believing the approach was not going to work at the major league level. Derrik Gibson also seems content to challenge this line of thinking as he regularly swings out of his shoes in an attempt to yank fastballs down the left field line. In Gibson’s case, his limited power ceiling leaves me wanting to see a more controlled approach stressing patience at the plate and line drives back up the middle. Like typecasting in movies, Gibson fits a player “type” of potential leadoff hitter and needs to do a better job playing the role of one. Looking to hit the first fastball he sees into the parking lot simply isn’t playing to his strengths. Especially when his front elbow doesn’t stay tight to his body limiting his ability to throw the bat head to handle inside pitches.
Defense: Gibson was well-tested in the five games I watched him man shortstop and was flawless on the infield. However, in seeing the limits of his range and arm strength, maximizing his defensive value will mean a move to second base down the road. On one specific play, he ranged relatively deep to backhand on a ground ball and came up throwing across the diamond to catch the runner by a step. While the play looked beautiful, fact is he threw out one of the slower runners on the field by only a half step. Any runner with even slightly below average speed would have beat the throw by a step. And while fringe average arm strength is fine on routine ground balls, major league shortstops make that play against much faster runners. At Gibson’s best, his limitations were on full display.
Speed: 30/36 in stolen bases pretty much speaks for itself and needs to, because I was unable to pull a legit home-to-first time off of unedited video. He’s a well above average runner who should continue to steal bases as he matures. Gibson displayed good instincts on the bases and was consistently able to turn strong reads into excellent jumps. His strongest single tool, Gibson will have to frame the rest of his game around his foot speed.
After all of the prospect hype Derrik Gibson has received, my expectations were high and his all-around game disappointed. Beyond his speed, the rest of his tools are average or below and it’s very difficult to project growth from a player who works against his strengths on a regular basis. As his statistics indicate, he’s a fringe guy right now and needs to refine his game. For a player who has been linked so closely to fellow Red Sox prospect Pete Hissey since the 2008 draft, their respective games are polar opposites.
22 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
Tags: Red Sox
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