Whitecaps’ Cam Gibson makes big strides in year 2

West Michigan Whitecap Cam Gibson speaking to 24 Hour News 8.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s not easy being the son of a big leaguer, especially when your father is a larger-than-life figure who led the franchise that drafted you to a world championship.

But since he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2015 and sent to the West Michigan Whitecaps, Cam Gibson has made a name for himself.

“I went into the offseason trying to change a couple of things up with my swing and how I approach the game, and that’s what I worked on for three four months,” Cam Gibson said.

It looks like it paid off. His batting average is up nearly 40 points from last season and his on base percentage is up more than 40 points. He already has six home runs this season — matching his total from all of 2016 in a third of the games.

>>Online: Cam Gibson stats

“Great make up,” Whitecaps manager Mike Rabelo said. “He’s starting to put together more and more consistent at bats, and you start doing that and your chances of success are going to increase. And then he gets on the bases and he creates havoc on the bases.”

Cam Gibson has gotten some help from his father Kirk Gibson, a Pontiac native and former Detroit Tiger.

“He’s out here with us doing base running stuff, he’s constantly working with me on my swing stuff and watching video with me,” Cam Gibson said.

But at the same time, Kirk Gibson is engaged in the biggest battle of his life — he’s fighting Parkinson’s disease. He was in Grand Rapids Tuesday to speak at a Spectrum Health event about the disease.

“He’s constantly trying to get something going for Parkinson’s research. He’s constantly trying to spread the word. I respect him so much for it,” Cam Gibson said of his father. “He was dealt kind of a crappy hand and he took it, and he said, ‘You what — pardon my French — but I don’t give a s*** about this hand. I’m going to take by the horns and take it down.’ That’s kind of the type of person he’s always been.”