The Orioles have come to terms with pitcher Kevin Gausman, their first-round draft pick, taken fourth overall, out of LSU.
Moments ago, Gausman said this on his Twitter account:
Happy to be the newest member of the Baltimore Orioles organization!!! Living my dream!! #GoBirds!— Kevin Gausman (@KevinGausman) July 13, 2012
The Orioles did not sign fifth-round pick, Texas high school pitcher Colin Poche, who is expected to attend the University of Arkansas. He was the only top-10 round pick the Orioles failed to sign.
This season as a sophomore for the Tigers, Gausman went 12-2 with an ERA of 2.77 for a team that made the College World Series. Over 123 2/3 innings, he walked 28 and fanned 135.
“Kevin Gausman is one of the premier power pitchers in all of college baseball,” Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich said the night the team drafted the right-hander. “He’s pitched at a high level in front of a lot of people every Friday night for the past two years and very successfully. He has a power arm and power arsenal that he commands, and we’re excited to have him.”
Scouting reports say his fastball sits from 94 to 96 mph and touches 98. He throws a two-seam fastball in the low 90s and has a very solid changeup. Scouts have had some questions about his breaking pitches.
Here is what Rajsich said about that:
“We’ve seen Kevin’s breaking balls good, although they’ve been inconsistent. Some of our guys have seen him above average so I think it’s in there, there are both (slider and curveball) in there and both are effective. It’s a matter of making them a little more consistent.”
Gausman was drafted in round six by the Dodgers when he came out of a Centennial, Colo., high school in 2010. He pitched for the USA national team last summer, and his pitching coach at LSU was former Orioles coach and minor league pitching coordinater Alan Dunn.
Gausman was rated as the draft’s No. 5 prospect by Baseball America and is ranked No. 4 by MLB.com.
Gausman was 5-6 with a 3.51 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 89 2/3 innings in his freshman season in 2011. Gausman was a high school two-time All-State selection, two-time Perfect Game High School All-American, 2009 Under Armour All-American, 2009 AFLAC All-American and gold medal winner with the USA Baseball Junior National Team.
Gausman is the third Orioles’ first round pick out of LSU, joining Mike Fontenot (2001 - 19th overall) and Ben McDonald (1989 - 1st overall).