Logan Gilbert had an impressive rookie season in Seattle. The Stetson product comes from a lineage of star right-handers such as Corey Kluber and Jacob Degrom. The solid rookie season has expectations set high, but how high should they be for his sophomore campaign?
Logan Gilbert’s big league debut was exciting but overshadowed by that of teammate Jarred Kelenic. Gilbert struggled in his debut, and with consistency in his rookie season. Although inconsistent, Gilbert had a very good first season all things considered.
Although Logan Gilbert was never touted as somebody with ace potential, instead projecting as a solid third starter projection with the upside of a high 2. Gilbert showed that potential at times in 2021, but his final ERA of 4.68 did not reflect that. His Baseball Savant page shows some good trends… and some bad ones.
He gave up a lot of hard-hit balls, ranking in just the 11th percentile of Hard Hit % and the 21st percentile in Average exit velocity. Gilbert gave up 18 home runs in just 119 innings in 2021.
These trends are obviously concerning. Gilbert gave up a lot of damage, mostly due to his lack of a go-to secondary pitch. His slider was his go-to secondary pitch, but he gave up 8 homers on it. At times it was devastating but often lacked the consistent bite. His fastball at times had to become his put-away pitch, becoming predictable to hitters.
The slider was closely followed by his changeup, and his curveball brought up the rear. Neither offering was special, but the changeup showed huge improvements to left-handed hitters in 2021. All three pitches have upside, but one needs to “pop” more for Logan to take the next step. The development of an above-average secondary pitch will be huge for him in 2022.
Zips has Gilbert projected for a 4.18 ERA in 125 innings in 2022, with 131 strikeouts and just 35 walks. This would certainly be a step forward for Gilbert, as Zips sees him becoming the number 2 starter based on ERA behind Robbie Ray. I see him becoming a strong 2 starter, developing the changeup and slider further.
Gilbert also posted a 3.73 FIP, nearly a full run below his ERA. This could show a nice improvement for him with some better luck. He has an excellent BB/9 rate at just 2.11, well above average. He has an electric fastball ranking in the 79th percentile in velocity, with three off-speed pitches all with very different movement profiles.
Logan Gilbert has electric physical stuff, and a great mound presence. Lowering hard-hit balls and developing a plus secondary pitch will go hand and hand for him. If he is successful in this development the sky is the limit for him. I would bet on a huge sophomore campaign for LoGi, solidifying him as the number 2 starter in Seattle. I will leave you with this to get you salivating…. enjoy.