Height/Weight: 6’4”/180 lbs
College: Louisiana State
Gausman—a draft-eligible sophomore who possesses a lightning-quick arm—has consistently popped the mid-to upper-90s all spring. At 6’4”, he has an athletic and powerful frame that allows him to consistently throw it on a downward plane. Despite his fast arm, the right-hander has a smooth delivery with easily velocity, and knows how to utilize his strong lower half.
Surprisingly, his best secondary pitch is a changeup that grades as an above-average offering. Beyond that, Gausman also has a curveball that, when he’s throwing it well, is a hammer. His slider has flashed improvement in bite and depth, and, considering his plus fastball, could be a legitimate swing-and-miss pitch once it's more developed.
Given his similar size and arsenal, Gausman has been compared to Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer, but he already has far more repeatable mechanics. He's been dominant this season against top-notch SEC hitters, and is perhaps the most big league ready of all collegiate arms. Gausman could be in the major leagues by early 2015.
For now, the AL-East-leading O's are doing just fine in the pitching department, ranked fifth in the AL in ERA (3.72). Their starters are all younger than 30.
According to LSU, Gausman is the highest-drafted Tiger since Ben McDonald went No. 1 overall to Baltimore in 1989.
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