I have already covered two of the KC Royals four first round picks from the 1999 draft (Mike MacDougal and Jay Gehrke). Today I am going to look at their final pick of the first round, left-handed pitcher Jimmy Gobble, who was selected 43rd overall.
In six years with the Royals, Gobble was 22-23 with a 5.23 ERA in 423.2 innings. He walked 163 compared to 275 strikeouts. His best season came in 2007 when he moved to the bullpen with new mechanics. In 74 games, Gobble had a 3.02 ERA over 53.2 innings. He walked 23 compared to 50 strikeouts. Unfortunately, he could not duplicate that season.
The Royals released Gobble in spring training in 2009 and he signed quickly with Texas, only to be released about a week later. In April, he signed with the Chicago White Sox. He pitched in 12 games in the big leagues, but had a 7.50 ERA. Gobble was released on July 7th.
In 2010, Gobble signed a minor league deal with Colorado, but only pitched in two games at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Then he was done.
His name popped up on the Royals radar when he appeared on the Royals Hall of Fame ballot. Many, as a joke, voted for him.
So what has Gobble been doing lately? He has been helping coach John Battle High School’s baseball team, which happens to be his alma mater.
In February as part of the kickoff to the baseball season for Tazewell, Gobble was on hand to talk to the players.
He talked about how he always knew he wanted to play professional baseball and his teachers told him he couldn’t. His message: follow your dreams. Gobble mentioned that he wished he had a chance to play for Boston, mainly because he pitched well at Fenway Park. He considered David Ortiz as the power hitter who gave him problems, but Ichiro was the one player he just could not get out.