Kyle Gibson racks up the strikeouts in his fall league debut
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In his first Arizona Fall League start on Thursday, Kyle Gibson was nothing short of dominant.
Pitching for the Peoria Javelinas, the Minnesota Twins prospect held the Phoenix Desert Dogs scoreless on four hits over five innings, striking out eight and walking nobody.
According to one observer, "The hardest hit ball of the day for Phoenix was on the ground through the left side." Gibson never went to a three-ball count, and his fastball was consistently 92 to 93 mph and down in the strike zone.
Phoenix's lineup included Hak-Ju Lee (Tampa's No. 1 prospect per MLB.com) and Christian Yelich (Miami's No. 1 prospect per MLB.com).
Adding Thursday's performance to Gibson's 28 1/3 combined innings for High-A Fort Myers and Triple-A Rochester earlier this year, the right-hander has 41 strikeouts to only six walks and a 3.51 ERA.
A first-round pick in 2009, Gibson turns 25 years old on Oct. 23, but Tommy John elbow surgery last summer has prevented him from making his major league debut to this point. The Twins are hoping to get his collective innings total up near 80 by the end of the Fall League.
Gibson will be limited no matter which level he starts at in 2013.