Kevin John Gausman
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 185 lb.
- School Louisiana State University
- High School Grandview High School (Aurora)
- Debut May 23, 2013
Pitcher Kevin Gausman made the majors in 2013. His brother Brian Gausman played in the minors.
He was 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA as a high school sophomore, then improved to 7-2, 2.15 with 71 K in 48 IP as a junior. He made the AFLAC All-American game that year. He was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in the 2009 Junior Pan American Games to help the US win the Gold Medal. As a senior in high school, he fell to 9-2, 3.12. He was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth round of the 2010 amateur draft. He did not sign and attended Louisiana State University instead.
As a college freshman, Gausman posted a 5-6, 3.51 record and was 8th in the Southeastern Conference with 86 strikeouts. He threw the first shutout by a true freshman at LSU since Brett Laxton in 1993. He was with the US college national team that summer but they did not play in any major tournaments. His sophomore year, he improved to 12-2, 2.77 with 135 whiffs in 123 2/3 IP. He led the SEC in wins (one ahead of Chris Stratton) and strikeouts (8 more than Stratton). He was picked as All-SEC, though Stratton beat him out for Pitcher of the Year. He also made both All-American first-team from both the American Baseball Coaches Association and Collegiate Baseball. Baseball America put him second-team behind Andrew Heaney, Nick Petree, Carlos Rodon and Stratton.
He was then chosen by the Baltimore Orioles with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft. The scout was Dave Jennings. He was the first pitcher selected, following position players Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton and Mike Zunino. He signed just before the deadline for a $4.32 million bonus and soon made his pro debut with the Aberdeen IronBirds. After not allowing an earned run in his first two games, he was promoted to the Frederick Keys. In 5 starts between the two teams, he went 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 15 innings. He pitched three shutout innings in the playoffs.
As a top prospect, Gausman was invited to attend the major league spring training camp in 2013, even though he stood no chance to make the team. Some of his future teammates had read about his habit of eating powdered mini-donuts during his starts as a means of keeping up his energy level, something that dates back to his time in seventh grade and has carried all the way until now. When he showed up in camp, his teammates welcomed him with a display stand featuring 1500 of his favorite game-time snacks. OF Adam Jones was rumored to be the originator of the prank. he was sent to the AA Bowie BaySox to start the year and made 8 starts there. His record was only 2-4, but his ERA was a solid 3.11 in 46 1/3 innings, with 49 strikeouts and only 5 walks. He was called up to the Orioles on May 23rd in order to make his big league debut (replacing Jake Arrieta on the staff), and was once again greeted with a donut feast filling his assigned locker in the clubhouse. In the game that followed, he was hit hard by the Toronto Blue Jays, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings, before giving way to Troy Patton. The hits he allowed included a home run by J.P. Arencibia; his successors on the mound were awful, though, giving up another 8 runs over the last three innings, to allow Toronto to run away with a 12-6 win that was charged to Kevin's ledger. With that start, however, he became the first player from the 2012 draft's first round to reach the majors, beating the St. Louis Cardinals' Michael Wacha by only a week. His second big league start on May 28th was another disaster, as he gave up 7 runs on 8 hits in 4 innings to the Washington Nationals to ring up a second loss, but he finally showes some major league stuff on June 2nd, when he gave up only 1 earned run in 7 innings against the Detroit Tigers; the O's mounted a late rally to win the game, 4-2, but reliever Brian Matusz was credited with the win. He was sent back to the minors on June 14th with the Orioles needing another reliever, with veteran Jake Arrieta getting the call in his place. He was doing very poorly at 0-3, 7.66 in 5 starts. Opponents were hitting .333 and slugging .618. When he came back, he did better pitching in relief, but his poor first few games left him with a record of 3-5, 5.66 in 20 games.
Gausman was back in the minors at the start of the 2014 season. He made a one-off start on May 14th, but was charged with a 7-5 loss against the Detroit Tigers. On June 7th, he was back in Baltimore and won for the first time as a starter, having been 0-4, 8.16 in the role up to then. He defeated the Oakland Athletics, 6-3. He ended up going 7-7, 3.57 in 20 starts, pitching 113 1/3 innings and striking out 88. He pitched three times in relief in the postseason, giving up only 1 run on 4 hits in 8 innings while striking out 7. He began the 2015 pitching out of the bullpen, but went on the disabled list in early May because of shoulder tendinitis.
He pitched one of the best games of his career on September 15, 2016, with the Orioles in a three-way fight for first place in the AL East. He pitched 8 scoreless innings against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park to hand Rick Porcello his first home defeat of the season, 1-0, with help from Zach Britton who added a perfect 9th inning.