Tampa Bay Rays: 2019 Top 15 Pitching Prospects

By Austin Reimann
Brent Honeywell (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Brent Honeywell (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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NEW ORLEANS, LA – NOVEMBER 27: Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA – NOVEMBER 27: Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

#13: Ian Gibaut, RHP, 25

Featuring a great changeup and an overpowering fastball, he is just waiting for his first crack at big league hitters.

Height/Weight: 6’3″ / 250

Drafted: | Signed: 11th, 2015 (328th) | $100,000

School: Tulane University

Pitch Grades (Via FanGraphs):

FB: 55/55

SL: 55/60

CH: 70/70

FB Velocity: 95-97, T-98

The Rays took Gibaut in the 2015 draft and he has done nothing less than dominate minor league hitters since entering the ranks of professional baseball. FanGraphs isn’t as high on Gibaut as I am,  but he does sneak into their Rays top-30 rankings at #30. Baseball America and FanGraphs do agree however that he profiles as a set-up man in the major leagues.

Off-speed pitches: His slider is a power slider and, “has a chance to be a difference maker” according to Baseball America. His crown jewel is his 70 grade changeup that he pairs with his upper 90’s fastball. FanGraphs compares his change piece to Fernado Rodney’s changeup which is high praise.

Delivery: It is hard to find much in the way of video on Gibaut pitching, but Baseball America did have this to say regarding his landing, “lacks command and has struggled to find a consistent alignment in his stride with his landing foot.”

2018 Numbers at AAA:

56 IP // 2.09 ERA // 75K/21BB // 12.05 K/9 // 1.00 WHIP // 14 SV

Thoughts: I would agree with both FanGraphs and Baseball America regarding Gibaut’s questionable control which could lead to issues at the Major League level. That lack of control and tendency to leave pitches up in the zone will without a doubt hurt him at the next level.

But, his changeup is something special and could give him a real shot at breaking camp with the Rays. He will be in competition with fellow Durham Bull, Colin Poche, for a roster spot. Gibaut is talented and we could see a lot of that changeup in 2019 and beyond if he can improve his command.