CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Overthinking It: The P... (05/21)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The Call-Up: Burch Smi... (05/10)
Next Column >>
Premium Article The Call-Up: Sean Noli... (05/24)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Nati... (05/22)

May 22, 2013

The Call-Up

Kevin Gausman

by Nick J. Faleris and Bret Sayre


The Situation: The Orioles have dropped six of their last seven and now find themselves four games back in the AL East. Injury and underperformance in the starting rotation have already forced the Birds’ hand, with Freddy Garcia logging four underwhelming starts over the past three weeks. Rather than turning to T.J. McFarland or Jake Arrieta for Thursday’s start north of the border, Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter will turn the ball over to the no. 2 prospect in the Orioles’ system (and no. 13 prospect in baseball), Kevin Gausman, in an attempt to inject the rotation with some life, not to mention some electric stuff.

Background: Gausman was a sixth-round selection by the Dodgers out of Grandview High School (Aurora, CO), but he turned down first-round money in favor of two years at LSU, where he immediately made an impact, finishing eighth in the SEC in strikeouts, ninth in hits allowed, and fifth in batting average against. After a strong summer as part of USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, Gausman dominated the SEC as a sophomore, leading the conference in strikeouts and finishing third nationally while serving as the Tigers’ Friday night starter and earning All-American honors from multiple publications. He was the first pitcher selected in the 2012 draft, going fourth overall to the Baltimore Orioles, and he signed a $4.32 million dollar deal, $120,000 over slot allotment.

After easing into pro ball with a handful of starts at short-season Aberdeen Single-A (Adv.) Frederick last summer, Gausman began the 2013 season with Double-A Bowie and has been a force through his first eight starts and 46.1 innings pitched, posting a staggering 9.8 strikeout-to-walk ratio (49 strikeouts to just five walks) while allowing less than a hit per inning. He ranks in the top 10 in the Eastern League in strikeouts, WHIP, and strikeout-to-walk ratio, and opponents are batting just .246 against him—a number that would likely be much lower but for a porous infield and 48-plus percent groundball rate.

Scouting Report: Gausman utilizes long arms, a high three-quarters release, and good extension to create hard downward plane on his fastball. The pitch comes with boring action and routinely sits in the mid-90s, with the ability to climb close to triple-digits (he has touched triple digits in the past). He shows comfort with the offering and can move it around the quadrants, showing no fear working inside to set up his plus to plus-plus changeup. The off-speed pitch comes with arm-side fade and late drop, mirroring the action on his fastball, and generally sits in the mid-80s with around a nine to 12 mile per hour delta from his heater.

Gausman wielded both a slider and a curve throughout his scholastic career, but he has focused his attention on the former since inking with Baltimore, making solid strides with the offering over the past 10 months. He will routinely sit in the low-80s with the offering, but can juice it up to the mid-80s with tighter action more closely resembling a cutter. When clicking, the pitch comes with heavy tilt and is tough to pick up against his fastball trajectory, helping it project as a third plus or better weapon once he finds more consistency in command and execution. He is an excellent athlete who repeats his mechanics and fields his position well.

Immediate Big-League Future: Gausman is the consummate competitor, with enough nasty in him to stare down the game’s top bats without fear despite having fewer than 15 professional starts to his name. He has the pure arsenal to succeed right away in Baltimore and could quickly settle in as the rotation headliner for the foreseeable future. In light of Gausman’s history of maintaining his stuff deep into starts and deep into the season, the Orioles could be looking at an innings eater with a 75/80 fastball, plus-plus change, and plus slider to go with excellent make-up, a mean streak on the mound, and above-average command. That’s a potential future ace in anyone’s book. —Nick J. Faleris

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Related Content:  Prospects,  Scouting,  Orioles,  Kevin Gausman,  Call-up

1 comment has been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Overthinking It: The P... (05/21)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The Call-Up: Burch Smi... (05/10)
Next Column >>
Premium Article The Call-Up: Sean Noli... (05/24)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Nati... (05/22)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
The Lineup Card: Eight Notable Early-Season ...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: A Moran and a Wolf Wal...
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Wednesday, April 16
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Please Send Starters
Premium Article Overthinking It: Does Baseball Have a Pace P...
Premium Article Notes from the Field: Notes from Five League...
The Call-Up: George Springer

MORE FROM MAY 22, 2013
Premium Article Skewed Left: A Somewhat Happy 40th for the I...
Premium Article Scouting the Draft: Center Fielders to Know
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Wednesday, May 22
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Travis Wood and the Winds...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Cool Slider, Bro
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: National League, Week Eigh...
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around the League: May 22, 20...

MORE BY NICK J. FALERIS
2013-05-24 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: The Myths of Minor-League...
2013-05-24 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Sean Nolin
2013-05-22 - Premium Article Scouting the Draft: Center Fielders to Know
2013-05-22 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Kevin Gausman
2013-05-21 - Premium Article Scouting the Draft: Corner Outfielders to Kn...
2013-05-17 - Premium Article Dissecting the Draft: Profiling Prep Arms
2013-05-17 - BP Unfiltered: Dissecting the Draft: Trey Ba...
More...

MORE THE CALL-UP
2013-05-28 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Nick Franklin
2013-05-28 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Nate Karns
2013-05-24 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Sean Nolin
2013-05-22 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Kevin Gausman
2013-05-10 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Burch Smith
2013-05-04 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Carlos Martinez
2013-04-30 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Marcell Ozuna
More...