With the fourth pick in the 2012 MLB first-year player draft, the Baltimore Orioles bolstered their pitching depth by adding LSU sophomore Kevin Gausman.
MLB.com notes that the Orioles had been in the running to land the draft-eligible sophomore for some time. And after Houston, Minnesota and Seattle all took position players, Baltimore had its choice of any pitcher in the draft.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Gausman in the sixth round of the 2010 MLB Draft, but Gausman chose to attend LSU instead.
Today, he boasts "a fastball that runs up to 94 mph, a smooth and easy delivery and a changeup that projects to be an above-average pitch to go with a breaking ball," MLB.com writes.
Gausman finished his 2011 season with a 3.51 ERA, but improved his game and lowered his ERA to 2.84, collecting 125 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings.
MLB.com notes that Gausman sometimes "struggles a bit with command, particularly with his breaking pitch. But it's a minor quibble, particularly given Gausman's makeup, which is a big part of what put him ahead of another pitcher on the Orioles' board."
ESPN's Keith Law calls Gausman an eventual likely No. 2 in the starting rotation, with No. 1 starter upside. Unlike Stephen Strasburg or David Price from previous drafts, Gausman is not necessarily a bona fide star and franchise gem.
In a detailed scouting report, Orioles-Nation.com called Gausman "a rarity. It's not often you find a college sophomore with his potential."