- Full name Christopher Odell Gissell
- Born 01/04/1978 in Tacoma, WA
- Profile Ht.: 6'5" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Hudson's Bay
- Debut 08/22/2004
- Drafted in the 4th round (112th overall) by the Chicago Cubs in 1996.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Ranked with Adam Eaton as the top two prospects in the state of Washington for the 1996 draft, Gissell hasn't seen his career develop nearly as quickly as that of the budding Padres star. He struggled with his confidence and his velocity early in his pro career. After regaining both, he has been shut down in July in each of the last two seasons. In 1999, he had a shoulder strain that required surgery. Last year, he had elbow tendinitis. When he was healthy in 2000, he used a 91-92 mph fastball and plus curveball to limit opponents to a .233 average. His changeup and command still need improvement, however. The Cubs have been patient with Gissell and will remain so. After spending the last two years in Double-A, he'll move up to Triple-A in 2001.
Background: Gissell was typical of the young projectable pitchers from the Northwest when he signed, and after two years of refining his skills and gaining strength, his raw stuff took off in 1998. Strengths: As he's become stronger, Gissell's velocity has increased to a consistent 90-92 mph. He still has room for growth and could add yet another notch to his fastball. His curveball is already a quality second pitch. Gissell's arm action and delivery are smooth and coordinated. He's also given high marks for his makeup on and off the field. Weaknesses: One school of thought is that Gissell is too nice on the mound and needs to become more aggressive at pitching inside. He still needs to further develop his offspeed pitches. The Future: The Cubs promoted Gissell twice last year. They have a lot of confidence in the 21-year-old's makeup and poise. He is expected to start at Double-A in 1999.