Aberdeen is an hour and a half away from me, but I knew it would be well worth the trip to catch Kevin Gausman‘s Ripken Stadium debut. Here are some of my observations from the game.
The first thing that stands out about Gausman is his mound presence. He went right after hitters, attacked the zone, and controlled each at-bat. The umpire made a few pretty bad calls, and you can see on the chart below just how close those pitches were (the pitches were actually that close to the strike zone; I did not run out of room on the sides of the chart).
Gausman’s fastball had some really nice horizontal movement and sink yesterday. He had downhill plane on his fastball and he was throwing 92-95 mph at the knees with movement. At times, that kind of stuff can be unhittable when you combine it with his changeup. Even when his fastball was thrown at 95 mph it still featured some sink.
As you can see in the chart below, Gausman really controlled his fastball and only one of his fastballs was a clear ball. The rest were either in the strike zone or very questionable ball calls by the umpire.
Not only did Gausman control his fastball well, but also his changeup and slider. He only threw two sliders but both went for strikes and he located one really nicely on the outside part of the plate.
Gausman’s changeup was an above-average pitch with lots of boring action.