Tuesday, June 5, 2012

O's select LSU pitcher Kevin Gausman, who's 'a little different'

The Orioles' scouting team, barring a top position player or two unexpectedly dropping, had focused on taking a pitcher with the fourth overall pick in the MLB Draft (or the Rule 4 Draft, which no one calls it). When Mark Appel, the Stanford ace who some rated as the top pitcher in the entire draft, dropped out of the top three, the O's had a decision to make: stick with whichever pitcher they had rated the highest, or take Appel (if he wasn't already that guy). He wasn't their guy, and the O's instead selected Kevin Gausman out of LSU.

If you want to read a scouting report on Gausman, here are a few. He's a tall right-handed pitcher with a power fastball and a solid changeup, though he's going to have to improve his other offspeed pitches, whether he ends up sticking with his slider (most likely) or his curveball.

Obviously, as a top pick in the draft, you'd expect him to be talented and have promise. But he also seems to be a funny/interesting guy. Here's one of his quotes while he was talking about himself and being drafted by the O's:
"My quirkiness, well, I've always been a little weird, really," the 20-year-old right-hander said. "You know I like sci-fi movies. I eat four donuts in between every inning. So you know, that's a little weird. It is something I started back in middle school, so I've been doing that for a while now. The way I live my life, I like to be a little different than other people."
Nothing wrong with any of that. OK, well, maybe the donut thing is a little out there. It's way too early to scold the O's for not taking Appel; many scouts still had Gausman rated as one of the top few pitchers. Hopefully in a few years they don't end up regretting taking the sci-fi-watching, donut-eating power righty from LSU.

On another note, didn't Sidney Ponson also consume donuts in between innings? Or maybe that was David Wells.