With the fourth pick in the 2012 draft, the Baltimore Orioles selected the latest in the long line of anointed "future aces". This guy they have now, has got all of the tools. His fastball flirts with triple digits. His personality is goofy enough to become the fan favorite. This guy is just the total package, which is why it may be even more heart-breaking if he can't make the grade.
Name: Kevin John Gausman Number: 39
Born: January 6, 1991 (23 years old) in Centennial, CO
Height: 6'3" Weight: 190 lbs
Drafted: 1st round (4th overall) by the Orioles in 2012
School: Grandview High School (Aurora, CO)
Lousiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA)
Contract: $502,500 in 2014 (Arbitration: 2017, Free Agent: 2020)
Before the Orioles
The Colorado native was born to parents Clair and Winifred. Clair is a former teacher and part time Pac-10 football referee. Winifred is a nurse at Porter Hospital in Colorado. Goose also has two older siblings; one brother, one sister, but there is almost nothing about them on the interwebs.
His high school days were pretty much what one would expect from a wunderkind like Gasuman. He was an all-state selection twice, an Under Armour All-American and an AFLAC All-American; both in 2009. The guy was a stone cold stud.
At this time he was developing some rituals that have stayed with him. For example, he didn't have a locker room at Grandview so he had to get dressed on the go. He says, this led to the way he puts his socks on today. Let's just say, it's a laborious process. He will put on his right sock and take it off. Water break. He then returns to the sock and puts it on his right foot again. This time it stays on. Water break. Back to the socks where he now puts on his left one and immediately removes it. Water break. Then, he comes back and puts on the second sock. Woo! I don't want to know his process for putting on underwear.
Something that was widely publicized, but seems to be a thing of the past now, was his love for powdered donuts. He would have one before a start and then eat four between each inning of his starts. I feel bloated just typing that. However, he says he has kind of gotten away from that. That's probably for the better.
And the final strange thing he has done in the past, but I am unsure if he does now, is that he began his warmups before an inning by sprinting towards the rubber, jumping, and throwing a fastball towards the catcher. What can ya say, he's a pitcher.
After high school he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. He declined and, instead, enrolled at Louisiana State University.
While at LSU he wowed with his mid-90s fastball and above average off-speed stuff, drawing comparisons to former Oriole, and LSU Tiger, Ben McDonald. Gausman won numerous awards as a member of the Tigers, including a 2012 All-SEC and All-American selection.
Another good thing for Gausman to come out of his time in Louisiana is his relationship with his girlfriend, Taylor North. It seems the two have been together for sometime now. She is an LSU cheerleader and is Goose's biggest fan. Look to her twitter feed for any off-field Gausman updates as the two are regularly together, even during the season.*
- Food: Not powdered doughnuts. He actually loves hibachi, not a specific food, but the entire experience of watching the food be cooked right in front of you.
- Movie: Napoleon Dynamite
- Music: Michael Jackson and Alan Jackson (no relation, in case ya didn't know). However, his first ever walk-up song at Aberdeen was "Bye, Bye, Bye" by N'Sync.
- Hidden Talent: He is modest and says that he has no other talents. However, this fella did play some saxophone in middle school.
- Career if not a baseball player: An historian. Gausman was a history major at LSU and he really likes that show "Ancient Aliens" on History Channel.
- Vacation Spot: Turks and Caicos Islands
- Baseball team growing up: Colorado Rockies
- Baseball player: Randy Johnson
Everyone saw his stellar outing against Oakland on Saturday night. He went seven strong innings, allowing one run and showcasing his immense potential.
However, he has struggled to string positive outings together. At times his fastball looks flat and his offspeed pitches lack any deception. But the Orioles have guaranteed the big righty one more start. He is set to take the hill on Thursday against Toronto, a hot hitting lineup with possibly the best power hitter in the game right now. It is going to be a true test of his mettle. Can he hack it against the big boppers of the AL East? We will soon find out.
When it comes down to it, Gausman is definitely one of the top five most talented pitchers on the Orioles roster. If talent directly translated to wins he may even be the ace of the club. But the LSU alum still has a lot to prove.
Before the season began, Gausman was tabbed as the X-factor. If he emerges as a fixture in the rotation then the O's have a shot to go deep into the postseason. As it sits now, there is more talk about who this team needs rather than who they have, but the powdered donut eating phenom has the power to change that and, make no mistake, he will be the number one starter of this staff soon enough.
*An earlier version of this article referred to Taylor North in ways that are not condoned by Camden Chat. Our apologies to Ms. North, rest assured that it won't happen again.