A consensus top-five round talent, Gibson's firm commitment to Georgia Tech pushed him down draft boards in 2011. The Tigers finally pulled the trigger in the 15th round and with a strong push, signed him for over $500,000 at the signing deadline last year.
After signing so late, Gibson only saw action in four Gulf Coast League games, batting just .143. In 14 at-bats, he fanned nine times and picked up two singles. Gibson participated in the Tigers fall instructional league, showing off his raw tools and the need for development.
Gibson is a premium athlete that excelled at soccer as well as baseball. He has shown plus-plus speed at times in workouts, flashing 6.5 60-yard dash times, but has more consistently worked in the 6.6-6.7 second range. He uses his speed well on the bases at his age and could swipe 20-25 bases per season as a pro.
His power is another standout tool, having shown plus raw power with wood bats in workouts for pro scouts and on the showcase circuit. He has tons of bat speed that generates easy power and gives him a robust offensive profile.
Throughout his amateur career, Gibson has not been exposed to true pro quality breaking balls and change-ups, and he will have to adjust to that part of the game. He can get a little pull happy at times, as he loves to turn on the ball and really put a charge in it, but he's a much better hitter when he works the other way. Most scouts project him as an average to solid-average hitter to go with his power and speed.
Gibson has the speed to man center field and he has shown solid routes and jumps in workouts. He lacks experience in the outfield, having just seen some action out there last spring in response to scouts requests.
Gibson's arm should play well in center field. His high school coaches clocked him at 85 mph throwing across the infield, and while he will have to adjust to the different throwing mechanics from the outfield, he should have an above-average arm in time.
He has plus makeup that scouts love. He has been around the game for a long time and he understands how to handle the ups and downs of baseball very well. His past coaches and scouts that know him well believe he has a high level of emotional maturity for his age.
When you add it all up, Gibson has the potential to develop into a premium up the middle guy with power and speed in his offensive profile. It won't come quickly as he adjusts to the pro game, but it's hard to argue with the tools and the potential they offer.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% R
Gibson has not had any major injuries throughout his amateur career.
It would be an aggressive assignment for the Tigers to send Gibson to any level other than the Gulf Coast League for the 2012 season. He is extremely raw and the developmental process is going to take time if he is to reach his ceiling.
After a year in rookie ball, Gibson should be ready for a shot at West Michigan and then his performance will dictate his promotion schedule. Barring an astonishing breakout, Gibson is at least five years from the big leagues, but that uncertainty shouldn't keep fans from being excited about his raw potential.
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