Gibson Awaiting His Chance

The Nationals' selected Glenn Gibson in the 4th round of the 2006 draft and signed him for a $350,000 bonus. He performed well in limited action with Vermont in 2006, and is beginning the 2007 season in extended spring training. But, make no mistake, even though he's not yet visible on any of the full season rosters, he should soon come into view on the prospect landscape. (Free Preview!)

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It's true that no player is ever thrilled to hear that they'll begin the regular season in extended spring training, but the fact is that it's the place where a great deal of learning is done. And, while Glenn Gibson would have probably been more than happy to begin the season in Low-A Hagerstown, he lives up to his reputation as being a level-headed young man with his take on the situation.

"Well, I take [the stint in extended spring training] as meaning that I need some work," Gibson told CapitolDugout.com. "I had some minor problems with my mechanics in spring training and I'm polishing them out; so extended is giving me some extra time to work on those problems."

At a low level in particular, clean mechanics are constantly preached to young pitchers and for obvious reasons. Before moving on, coaches are sure to make sure their young hurlers are at peace with any and all mechanical adjustments that they've made over the course of spring training. Even though he's know to be an extremely polished product for his age, there is still plenty of tweaking to be done.

"Basically, I wasn't staying back and my arm was down lower than it should be," the young southpaw explained. "It was making my pitches fade. Also, I needed to work on my times to home plate and holding runners on better than I was."

The only real question over Gibson's head now is when and where will his first chance in live game action come this season? That question lacks a real predictable answer at this point, but the youngster's hopes are high that he will soon be heading to full season action.

"I don't really know where I'll be going," he admitted. "I mean, I'm hopeful that if I pitch well for consecutive appearances and show my old polish and locate my pitches I will be in Hagerstown."

Washington absolutely loves what Gibson brings to the table and that is the major reason that they are looking to take it slow with the New York native. He is not blessed with a purely overpowering fastball, but what he does have at 6-foot-4, 195 is projectability and a very refined approach.

"I'm not a hard thrower as of right now," said Gibson. "I'll pitch at 86 to 88 MPH and throw three pitches for strikes and induce a lot of groundouts. I'd say I'm maybe like someone like Mark Buehrle. He doesn't throw hard but he just gets a lot of outs."

No matter how advanced he is, a pitcher like Gibson always needs another weapon to be effective. Glenn Gibson's weapon is an outstanding, big curveball. It's rare to see a pitcher his age have such a feel for it, so how exactly has he made it such an effective pitch at such an early stage?

"Well the key for me is throwing it with my arm slot up so its get a more 12 to 6 effect," the lefty explained. "And its a good weapon because when I have a good feel for it I can throw it for a strike in any count."

Besides continuing to hone his skills, all Glenn Gibson can really do right now is bide his time and wait for his chance. When he gets that shot, he knows exactly what he needs to do to be successful. He also has become very aware of what it takes to face this level of competition.

"Every hitter you face at this level is good and you can never let up and that no matter what level you are at," Gibson emphasized. "You have to locate your fastball and get ahead on counts. I want to work on attacking the zone. As long as I do that I think I will be a very successful pitcher at any level. I just want to develop more as a pitcher as fast as I can and make it to the big leagues as soon as quick possible."

The big leagues do appear to be at least a few years away for Gibson no matter how quickly he adapts to each new bump in the road, but who is to say it's too soon to have some fun looking at the future. Again proving himself to be a bright young player, Gibson certainly seems to have a firm of idea about how he handle himself in the show. When asked how he'd attack big league slugger, there was little hesitation or indecision.

"I would just try to keep my fastball down in the zone and hopefully get him to a count where I was ahead," he decided. "Then I'd to try to get him on a curveball in the dirt."

Glenn Gibson, at age 19, may not have it all figured out about pitching at the professional level, but he certainly is on the right track for the future.

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