Scouting Report, Kevin Gausman

With the news that Kevin Gausman will make his Major League debut for the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, we take a look at his scouting report in order to determine if he is ready for the jump from Double-A. The right-handed throwing Gausman was the 4th overall pick in last years Amateur Draft. Gausman is just 22 years old and stands 6’3”. He has never pitched above Double-A, but has enjoyed success across three levels of the Minor Leagues. In 2012, Gausman pitched at Low Single-A and High Single-A, where he pitched just 15 innings with a 3.60 ERA. He began this season in Double-A where he has pitched 46 1/3 innings with a 3.11 ERA and 9.5 K/9. Gausman comes after hitters with a four pitch mix, including a fastball, cutter, change-up and slider. His fastball is mid-to-upper 90’s with the ability to reach 99 mph late in games. His fastball shows excellent arms side sink, which has helped him compile a 51.5% groundball rate this season. He has great command of the pitch, especially for a player in just his first full season of pro ball, but he has a tendency to leave his fastball up in the zone where it loses his tremendous movement and flattens out. He uses an occasional cutter that is in the upper 80’s and cuts glove-side. Gausman’s change-up is his best off-speed pitch. The change-up is an incredible 15 mph off his fastball, as it sits 82-84 and has great fade to his arm-side. His slider has greatly improved since his days at LSU, when many scouts doubted the pitch. Similar to his change-up, he throws the slider around 82-84 mph. Gausman has a high leg kick where he brings his knee up to his chest. He takes his arm a little too far behind his back and is only able to get it into position by foot strike by cutting off his arm motion early. Gausman throws slightly across his body as his front foot lands closer to the third base side of the field. While this creates some deception, it also places some extra strain on his arm. His numbers in Double-A are not overwhelming, but his stuff is very impressive and can translate at any level. In my view, he is definitely ready for the jump to the MLB and while he will not immediately be the ace of the staff, Gausman projects as a front of the rotation starter, already with two plus pitches and 4 quality offerings.

Anthony Cacchione

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