A detailed scouting report on the Orioles’ 2012 first round pick, Kevin Gausman.
Body: Tall and lean with some muscular development possible. Overall, large frame through the hips and shoulders, lower half is larger which makes him play taller.
Gausman mixes a 2S and 4S, but is currently in love with the 4S. He wants to blow it by everyone and anyone and routinely over throws the pitch against the better hitters in an effort to show them up. He has a high release that fluxes in timing.
Sometimes the 4S gets flat when he tries to dial it up. At its best, it has a sharp plane that he can keep low. The horizontal movement on the two seamer is not as sharp as I think it can be down the line. It improved as the season progressed and was sharp in his last few outings. It is a mixed bag right now because the pitch can be overthrown and then loses its horizontal movement.
His two seamer is 90-93 mph. The only point when it really has plus movement was when it was thrown at 90-91 mph.
4S Grade: 5.5 – Limiting over throwing the pitch could push it to 6.5 as a professional.
2S Grade: 4.5 – Work in progress. Down plane trajectory could make it a 6.0 – 6.5 in the future.
CB Grade: 4.5 – This pitch has flashed 5.5 and using lower speeds makes it more effective. It’s almost 6.5 quality. Could reach plus-plus with the high arm slot.
Gausman greases the threads a bit too much, and his slider is simply an over gripping curve ball in the 87-89 mph range. It might be a hybrid sluve. I do not think it is very effective and is simply a pitch that lacks depth and has some meatball tenancy.
SL Grade: 3.5
Guasman’s changeup is a solid circle change with late hand side action and depth away. It is mainly a 81-82 mph offering. The foundation is present, but he tends to gear up with the pitch and it will ride high with boring action.
CH Grade: 4.5/5.0 – This pitch has improved a lot and routinely grades out as at least average, but flashed 6.0 depth and movement.
Gausman has good depth, an initial soft landing knee bend and a nice downhill motion with the lower half. His hip/torso has some lag in it that looks to be beyond 45 degrees, which is how he throws with impressive speed but has a smooth delivery to go along with it.
He tends to having a rocking motion, but his arm slots are ideal. His lead elbow is in a good spot at toe touch, and he has a nice drag of the arm.
He can cross his body at times and at other times he tends to get himself open too much. He tends to show a bit of recoil about 6″- 8″ in front of his body, which can be attributed to a slight hip slap. He has a collapsing delivery and sometimes fails to get over his front. I do think it can be cleaned up when he learns to throttle back.
Grade: 4.0 (5.0-5.5)
Gausman is a thrower right now. He will occasionally hit his spots, but simply looses command too often in the name of power. There is a solid chance that his command eventually grades out as above major league average as there were a number of outings where he consistently hit his spots.
Grade: 4.0 – Could hit 5.0/5.5
He stays effective in the zone. He has just average control as a result of his power arsenal. This improved to above average when he was not over throwing, so he has the ability to consistently show above-average control.
Grade: 5.0 – Could hit 5.5 down the road.
With Gausman, you see his lighting arm speed and a body that can fill out a good 15-20 pounds. His long arms and legs should press a longer stride and extend his release point, which will make his entire arsenal that much more effective.
His leg length makes him more of a 6′ 6″- 6′ 7″ type of pitcher. His foundation is great for a nice three pitch mix of MLB average or better pitches when he learns that 85-90% effort will enhance each pitch greatly, plus reduce any stress from his motion.
His high release loses timing from hitter to hitter and as his outings progress it can become prolonged. I tend to think he is pressing to light up the gun and over throws instead of trying to throw down. The key in the future is his ability to trust the stuff and stay within himself.
When he does not press, I see three borderline plus pitches that, with projection and maturation, could become dangerous if his control and command continue to improve.
Gausman has really hit his stride, and continues to improve and learn each and every outing. He is the type of pitcher that can have the total package one day and shows real top of the rotation potential.
He is a rarity. It’s not often you find a college sophomore with his potential.
OFP: 55 – 60 (could reach 66 or better)
- Slim chance to become #1 pitcher
- More likely a second tier #1 and solid #2 arm
- Floor is a 3/4 type or bullpen arm; speed and demeanor typical of setup or closer.
Comparisons: Homer Bailey, Jake Westbrook, Shane Reynolds, Jake Arrieta