Last season there seemed to be some internal discussion among the Orioles brass about whether prospect Kevin Gausman was further along in his development than Dylan Bundy. Gausman was drafted fourth overall by the Orioles in 2012 after playing two seasons of college ball with the LSU Tigers. Bundy was selected fourth overall in 2011 out of high school.
If all goes according to plan, the Orioles should have a nice one-two punch atop their rotation for years to come with Bundy and Gausman.
JD Sussman of FanGraphs had a chance to watch Gausman pitch this spring and firmly believes he’ll be ready for the big leagues this summer.
What stood out most about this start was how well Gausman’s fastball and changeup complemented one another. Gausman controlled the bottom half of the strike zone with a mid 90s fastball, set up hitters and unleashed his changeup. The changeup is his best offering, it sits more than 10 MPH below his fastball’s velocity and the bottom completely drops out of the pitch. The pair form a deadly combination that will keep batters off balance for years, starting in 2013. Additionally, his slider looked considerably tighter in this viewing than it had in the past. Gausman doesn’t need another plus pitch to reach his ceiling, but his slider could be another weapon against right-handed hitters.
Earlier this spring, Sussaman wrote a great piece about the top pitching prospect duos and you’ll never guess which two finished atop the list.
The future is bright for the Orioles. That’s probably why they didn’t waste their money on Zack Greinke (who’s having his elbow examined in LA this morning) or Kyle Lohse (who would cost them a draft pick) this winter.