Once again the savvy ways of the Dodgers are paying off dividends.
RHP prospect Cameron Gibbens has just been called up to the High A Great Lakes Loons after a red hot start to the 2021 MiLB season that saw the 25-year-old pitcher strike out 23 hitters across 7 games (10.1 IP) with just one run allowed.
Rancho Cucamonga Roster Move:
RHP Cameron Gibbens (1-1, 0.87 ERA, 7 G) has been promoted to Great Lakes of the High-A Central League.
Joining the Quakes is RHP Michael Martinez, who joins the club from Extended Spring Training in Arizona.
— Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (@RCQuakes) May 26, 2021
Gibbens started the 2021 season in Low A with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes after being picked up as an undrafted free agent out of Melbourne, Australia this past offseason. The strikeout maestro threw 9.2 innings in 2019 with the Melbourne Aces (of the Australian Baseball League) and struck out 17 across the span. In the previous year, Gibbens saw only 3 games of action which amounted to just 4.2 innings of work with 5 Ks across that span.
Cameron Gibbens, for Rancho Cucamonga on 5/23, 3 Ks in 1.1 innings. For the season, he has 21 Ks in 9.1 innings, a ridiculous K rate of 55.3% 👀 pic.twitter.com/enWj6tddNa
— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) May 25, 2021
Most other professional franchises would question the limited experience of Gibbens, but the Dodgers saw the under-the-radar value in the hard-throwing right-hander whom we profiled earlier this season after he made his debut with the organization. Here are some quotes from Gibbens after his Quakes debut.
D2080: Can you tell me what the process was like being scouted by the Dodgers over in Australia?
Gibbens: In Australia, it’s a bit different, everyone knows everyone so if you’re good at baseball over there people know who you are. It’s a very close-knit community and in my first year of travel ball in Australia I was a bit of a development guy, I was kind of around the clubhouse but didn’t do much playing. The second-year I got a bit better, I was a little more developed and threw more strikes. I worked a couple of outings and the head coach at the time, John Deeble, was also a scout for the Dodgers. It was a pretty good relationship there, we were friends. He watched me develop through that second season and ended up putting a good word in for me with the Dodgers. From there it escalated into an offer and I decided to take it up. It changed my life.
D2080: How are you feeling after your 4K 2IP debut with the Quakes?
Gibbens: It’s an amazing feeling, all the preparation from Spring Training led to this point. I felt really great coming out of Spring with my last outing. I just do what I have to do and control what I can control. I was put in a bit of a tough situation with none out and runners on first and second but I knew I needed to get in the zone and get a groundball. It worked out perfectly and that made things easier from there. I’m feeling great. It helps having run support, especially later in the game when you’re trying to get a win.
Cameron Gibbens projects to a backend reliever with the Dodgers, a potential closer role depending on where the organization is in a year’s time. We may see Gibbens looming closer to the MLB squad come All-Star break and by the 2nd half of the season, we could be seeing him get work in at the MLB level. There is the potential that Gibbens might be seen as a potential option to filling in the closer role depending on whether or not Kenley Jansen remains with the Dodgers after the current 2021 season.