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Minor League Prospect Note: Kevin Gausman, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

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Minor League Prospect Note: Kevin Gausman, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles 2012 first-round draft pick Kevin Gausman made his professional debut for the Aberdeen Ironbirds in the New York-Penn League Monday, throwing three shutout innings, allowing no hits or walks, fanning two against State College. He relied primarily on his fastball to start off each hitter, but mixed in some changeups and sliders. The changeup is considered a quality pitch, but development of the breaking ball (which was inconsistent in college) will determine if he develops into an ace starter or more of an inning-eater.

I like Gausman a lot personally, and I think the breaking ball issue will resolve in his favor. Someone asked me if the fact that he started his career in the NY-P was a negative, given that an advanced college pitcher would usually start in full-season ball, but I think the assignment makes sense. He already threw 123 innings in college this year, and at this point I think it is more important to get his feet wet in pro ball than to push him fast this summer. For 2013, I'd project him to begin the season in High-A, with Double-A on the agenda as soon as he looks ready.