With the fourth overall pick in the Rule IV Major League Baseball draft, the Baltimore Orioles selected Kevin Gausman from LSU. It was widely expected that the Orioles would go with a pitcher, and although some thought Mark Appel was the best available college pitcher, the Orioles felt otherwise. They were not alone in their decision, as Keith Law had suggested that Kevin Gausman was indeed the best college pitcher available.
Armed with a mid 90′s fastball that can touch triple digits, Kevin Gausman also has an above average change up. Many are divided on the strength of his curveball, with some arguing that it is nothing more than a mediocre “show me” pitch while others think it could be a useful weapon in the future. The ability to throw his curve over for strikes and to use it for strikeouts will determine whether Kevin Gausman will be a potential #2 starter, or a legitimate #1 starter.
This season at LSU Kevin Gausman went 11-1, striking out 128 while walking 27 in nearly 116 innings. This led to an ERA of 2.72, which is a fairly strong season for the 21 year old right hander. He’s very polished, meaning that the Orioles shouldn’t expect him to spend very much time in the minors. Kevin Gausman could make an outstanding 1-2 alongside prospect Dylan Bundy, one of the best young arms pitching in Orioles system.
To those following the Orioles, the pick wasn’t very surprising. Kevin Gausman was widely expected to go to the Orioles with the fourth pick, and at this point the only thing left to see is how much they sign him for. With the new draft rules, the recommendation for the fourth overall pick is $4.2 million.
The Baltimore Orioles made a safe pick going with right hander Kevin Gausman. Given that he’s got fantastic raw stuff and that he’s likely to excel in the minors, it looks like a strong pick by the front office. With the Orioles strong start this season, it’s unlikely that they’ll be drafting in the top 5 very soon. So it was important to get a quality pick this year, and at least on paper it looks like the Orioles made a great selection in Kevin Gausman.