Game 78 Preview - Royals vs. Twins

USA TODAY Sports

Top pitching prospect Kyle Gibson will make his major-league debut at Target Field for the Twins on Saturday.

Last night's game was pretty damn fun to watch. Let's hope the Kansas City Royals offense continues to swing for the fences on Saturday when they play their third game in a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins.

Wade Davis will start for the Royals. Davis owns a 4.96 ERA, but his 3.97 xFIP and 4.18 SIERA suggest that he has a place in the back of the Royals rotation. The starter has allowed three runs or fewer in his last four starts, striking out 21 hitters in 24 2/3 innings.

Davis has faced the Twins twice this season. The right-hander has yet to allow an earned run against Minnesota, but did allow three unearned runs in his last start. Davis has struck out 12 Twins hitters in 10 innings, but has issued six walks. Hopefully Davis can keep his walk rate down this time, which should allow him to go deeper in the game.

Kyle Gibson will make his major-league debut for Minnesota at Target Field. Minnesota drafted the former Missouri Tiger in the first round of the 2009 draft. The starter would have likely made his major-league debut last season, but underwent Tommy John Surgery at the end of 2011, which set him back.

Most prospect analysts consider Gibson the Twins best pitching prospect. Marc Hulet of Fangraphs rated Gibson as the fifth best prospect in the Minnesota farm system, and wrote a brief scouting report of the pitcher:

Standing 6'6", Gibson leverages his height well and generates an outstanding downward plane on his pitches, which leads to well-above-average ground-ball rates. His fastball sits in the low-90s and he backs it up with a plus changeup. His slider should be at least an average offering for him. Gibson has a chance to develop into a solid No. 3 starter at the big league level.

Gibson has pitched pretty well in Triple-A this season, as he owns a 3.11 ERA and 2.96 FIP through 15 starts. The right-hander has fanned 21.3% of the hitters he has faced, and could give the Twins starting pitching rotation a much needed strikeout pitcher.

This is an exciting day for Twins fans, who hope that Gibson will improve the pitching rotation. Nothing against the rookie, but I want the Royals to spoil his debut.

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