NEWBERG REPORT PLUS — AUGUST 2, 2007: Kason point
Kenny Rogers spent seven years in the minor leagues before arriving in the bigs at age 24. In those seven years on the farm, how many times did the former 39th-round pick land on Baseball America’s list of the Rangers’ top 10 prospects?
I’m not suggesting Kason Gabbard, who was born a couple months before Rogers was drafted, and would be drafted himself 18 years later, 10 rounds earlier, out of a Florida high school 200 miles southeast of the one that produced Rogers, and spent six years in the minor leagues before reaching Boston at age 24, is on his way to winning 200 games or making over $70 million playing this game . . . .
But Gabbard sure looks like a Rogers starter kit. Slightly less velocity as a young Rogers, and not quite as deliberate mechanically, but similar actions in his delivery, similar release point, similar plane on the bigger of his two curves, and, for the most part, pretty good command that helped him induce 12 groundball outs and just one flyout, toeing it up against a team that he’d faced just a week ago, in the same park.
He’s got a pretty good chance to be pretty dependable, if not quite in Kenny Rogers’ neighborhood.