ORONO, Maine — Jeff Gibbs of the University of Maine struggled to find consistency on the mound during the 2012 season, but it didn’t prevent him from being drafted.
The junior right-hander from Toronto was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday in the ninth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He was the 303rd pick overall.
“We’ve already chatted and I think he’s going to take an offer from them,” said UMaine head coach Steve Trimper, who explained MLB has altered its draft rules, under which picks in the top 10 rounds are likely to receive substantial financial offers, while those in the last 30 rounds are capped at $100,000.
UMaine signee Dayton Dawe, a right-handed pitcher from Ontario, also was chosen Tuesday. The New York Yankees took him in the 15th round, No. 487 overall.
Gibbs posted a 3-4 record this spring for the Black Bears, but carried an 8.40 earned run average. He surrendered 66 hits and 42 walks in 60 innings and led UMaine with 56 strikeouts.
Opponents batted .289 against the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder, who also hit nine batters and uncorked 22 wild pitches.
“What happened is Jeff had a bad 2½ months,” Trimper said of Gibbs’ control issues.
Even so, he hit 96-98 mph on the radar guns and Trimper said the scouts are looking as much at potential as they are at recent performance.
“There’s a lot of hype around Jeff this whole season,” Trimper said. “You’ve got to think about a 21-year-old person that has all these things going through his head. He was trying to do the best he could. A lot of these teams draft on projectability.”
Gibbs was the second right-hander and the second pitcher overall picked by the Diamondbacks in the 2012 draft, joining third-rounder Jake Barrett of Arizona State.
In three seasons with the Bears, Gibbs owns a 16-13 record with a 5.02 ERA and has fanned 197 batters in 211⅔ innings.
He was an America East All-Rookie and second-team all-conference selection in 2010, then earned second-team accolades as a sophomore in 2011.
Gibbs is the third UMaine player drafted since the end of the 2011 campaign, joining outfielder Taylor Lewis (Pittsburgh, 10th round) and right-handed pitcher Keith Bilodeau (San Francisco, 24th round).