Monday, December 12, 2016

Prospect: Zach Gibbons - Rank: 27
2015/16: UR            Position(s): Outfield
Level: AA                 Age: Entering Age 23 season in 2017.
Height: 5'8”              Weight: 186 lb.

Present         Future 

Hitting Ability: 50 - 55
Power: 35 - 40
Base Running: 55 - 55
Patience: 55 - 65
Fielding: 50 - 55
Range: 55 - 55
Arm: 50 - 50
Overall: 45 - 50

Floor: AAA Depth. Ceiling: A leadoff hitting starting OF in the major leagues
Likely Outcome: A solid 4th OF. 
Summary: Gibbons won’t be ranked as high on other prospect list mostly because other prospect lists tend to focus on potential rather than present ability.  And present ability is precisely why Gibbons makes it into our top 30.  There isn’t a ton of question about what Zach’s abilities are and aren’t.  He’s exactly what you see, and when you watch him, you see a ball player, through and through.  He’s smart, he works counts into his favor, and if he doesn’t get the pitch he wants, Gibbons will walk to first base.  Once he reaches base he’s of course a threat to steal, but much more than that, he’s aggressive, he’ll get bigger leads and annoy pitchers, he’s hustling and taking that extra bag.  Gibbons is also just a rock solid defensive outfielder with plus athleticism.  His swing is the most basic, compact, straight-to-the-ball approach you can imagine.  He’s a pure line drive hitter that will use the entire field, but can get into one and pull it over the wall.  Zach clearly wasn’t challenged by the Pioneer League, and given his success at Arizona, that was no surprise.  In fact, he just flat out torched the Pioneer League, hitting .351 with 17 SB and more walks than strikeouts.  Gibbons should be abler to climb the minor league ladder rather quickly, I don’t anticipate him being too caught up on any level.  Minor adjustments are always needed, especially as the quality of play increases, but Gibbons’ present ability suggests that with continued coaching and development, he should be a major leaguer.  I don’t think you’re looking at the next Mike Trout by any means, but a career as a Reggie Willits type is certainly within play.  That’s something the Angels have been without for a while.  A true reserve outfielder that can pinch run, pinch hit, pinch bunt, is a defensive replacement, and won’t hurt you if he gets a few starts to rest the regulars.
What to expect next season: Gibbons should be at Inland Empire next year, and I expect him to do pretty solid there.   The Angels may go the conservative route as they did with Jared Foster this year and give him a half season in A Ball before moving to the Cal League, but regardless, I think Gibbons can be done with the low minors by the end of next year.  I’ll keep an eye on his BA/OBP.  They were definitely inflated in Orem, but at the same time, it’s reasonable to expect Gibbons to hit .280+ at any level. 
Estimated Time of Arrival: Late 2020 - Gibbon’s age 26 season. 
Grade as a prospect: C: Projects to be a 4th OF. 
Grades are given from the 20-80 scouting scale.  20-being non-existent ability, 80-being the best I’ve ever seen.  MLB average is 50.
Love to hear what you think!
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