Monday, December 03, 2007

It's Gibson

Glenn Gibson is the player headed to Tampa Bay, one of the Vermonsters. In Baseball America's recent Top 10 prospects list, he was ranked 8th. Here's what I wrote about him.
Gibson has succeded not because of the quality of his stuff, but because of his smarts. He doesn't have an over-powering fastball, but he's got a decent curve, and apparently has decent command, and knowledge of how to attack the strike zone to keep hitters off balance.

In 58 innings at Vermont, he struck out 58 batters and impressively walked just 15, showing that his command and his plan worked really well. But there's also probably a limit to how far that can get you, and he's going to need to refine those secondary pitches to continue to succeed at higher levels and to keep those K rates up. You don't need a plus fastball to succeed, but you certainly need strong secondary pitches. How well those develop will show how far he'll go. But the mental aspect of pitching can't be knocked -- and he's certainly demonstrated that.

In a pure talent sense, it's a solid swap. I'm not especially high on Gibson's long-term potential, thinking that he's putting up stats with excellent command of mediocre stuff.

But the stathead side of my is superseded by the fanboy side. Any player whose Wikipedia profile needs a separate off-field issues section is one you've gotta be careful of. And it's a player I'm going to take no joy in rooting for.

The next day should be instructive. Anyone comparing the acquisition of Milledge with the trade for Dukes is an idiot. Other than the color of their skin, there's not much linking the two of them. There's a big difference between being an asshole and a sociopath, and its pretty clear which player is in which camp.

Uncle Teddy's home for wayward youth isn't a bad idea if you're picking up assholes like Milledge or Jose Guillen (or even someone like Milton Bradley) -- players of that ilk. But when you're acquiring players with long arrest records and a player WHO THREATENED TO KILL HIS KIDS, then you've probably gone too far.

I'll give $100 to any of the beat reporters who get Bowden on the record with the answer to this question: "Jim, when you acquired celebrated asshole Jose Guillen you were so confident in his ability to be a model citizen that you said that you would be happy to leave your children with him. Will you say the same for Dukes?"

  • Alternatively, there's the ubiquitous Jeff Passan's take.
    Bowden fancies himself Father Flanagan, it seems, and the Nationals held a meeting today with Dukes and first baseman Dmitri Young, as Barry Svrluga notes.

    Can't imagine the tenor of that meeting.

    Nats: Elijah, are you done beating women?

    Dukes: Yes, sir.

    Nats: Elijah, you still getting high every day?

    Dukes: No, sir.

    Nats: Elijah, do you promise not to get in the face of umpires like you did in the Dominican Republic earlier this week? You know, the place where you're trying to rehabilitate your reputation and show you're not insane?

    Dukes: Yes, sir.

    Nats: Welcome to Washington!


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