From now through Monday, we'll profile six players the Orioles might target with the No. 4 overall pick in Monday night's amateur draft. Today: Kevin Gausman
Name: Kevin Gausman
Position: Right-handed pitcher
Height/Weight: 6-feet-4, 185 pounds
Hometown: Centennial, Colo.
School/Class: Louisiana State University/sophomore
Skinny: Went 10-1 with a 2.84 ERA in his first 15 starts as LSU's ace. ... Struck out 125 batters in his first 107 2/3 innings. ... Has a mid-90s fastball that can reach up to 97-98 mph. ... His second best pitch is a big-league caliber changeup ... Also uses a two-seamer. ... His breaking stuff isn't as polished as his other pitches. ... Has worked extensively with LSU pitching coach Alan Dunn, the former Orioles bullpen coach who was well-respected by club brass. ... Was a sixth-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010, but did not sign. ... Some scouts believe he is the best bet among the top three collegiate pitchers available. He has a higher ceiling than Stanford's Mark Appel and is more refined as a pitcher than San Francisco's Kyle Zimmer. ... His father, Clair, is a former teacher andPac-10 football referee.
Why the Orioles will take him: He has the whole package, pitched against top competition, has a high ceiling and has been tutored by a former Orioles coach.
Why the Orioles won't take him: The lack of consistent breaking pitches could limit him in the majors, and that may have him a tick behind Zimmer, Appel or both.
Connolly's take: If Zimmer and Gausman are both available at four – and that is possible – the guess is the Orioles take Zimmer. But they'd likely be thrilled with Gausman, too.
More on the draft ...