Gibson was on the draft board much longer than expected during this month's draft, falling all the way to the Tigers in the 15th round. Just because he was there that late didn't mean there wasn't interest in him. According to some reports, Gibson turned down a team that offered him a six-figure bonus in the second round, opting to hold out for a better offer. The Tigers appeared ready to meet his asking price when they popped him as one of their few truly high ceiling picks in the draft.
The son of a coach (Mercer coach Craig Gibson), Tyler has been around the game for a long time, including an extended stretch playing for the vaunted East Cobb program in Georgia.
Gibson was a standout during his senior year at Stratford Academy (Georgia) as he was named a Rawlings Southeast All-Region 2nd Team performer.
In 2011, Gibson posted gaudy numbers for his high school, ripping the ball to the tune of a .444 (32-for-72) batting average. Opposing pitchers walked him 26 times in just 27 games, while he also slugged nine doubles and six home runs for a .810 slugging percentage. To top it all off, the well-rounded Gibson posted 21 steals in 23 attempts.
If you believe in projection and the developmental process, there's a lot to like when looking at Gibson. He is a premium athlete that excelled at soccer as well as baseball.
He's shown plus-plus speed at times in recent 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 should he turn pro. 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.
A shortstop during his senior year of high school, Gibson will likely move to the outfield as a professional. He 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 this spring in response to scouts requests.
Gibson's arm should play well in center field. His high school coaches have gotten 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 is a plus makeup kid that scouts loved. 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.
Gibson has not had any major injuries throughout his amateur career.
Don't expect any movement toward a contract between the Tigers and Gibson until much later this summer. His signing is likely to come down to the final couple of weeks before the August deadline, and could come down to the final days until MLB approves the deal.
Scouts familiar with Gibson's situation believe it will take a bonus approaching $1 million, or mid-supplemental round money for him to forgo his commitment to play baseball at Georgia Tech. It sounds as though the Tigers are very familiar with his demands and like him quite a bit, having worked him out twice in the weeks leading up to the draft.
It won't happen quickly, but expect the Tigers to get this deal done and add at least one true impact talent to their minor league system.
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