14. Kevin Gausman, SP, Baltimore Orioles
Another key future piece
Gausman, 22, is the Orioles' second-rated starting pitching prospect behind Dylan Bundy. The Louisiana State University alum was chosen by Baltimore with the fourth overall selection of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft. At two different stops in his first pro season (Low-A Aberdeen, High-a Frederick), Gausman went 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA and 13 strikeouts in just 15 innings pitched (five starts).
Although he is entering just his second professional year, Gausman is more polished than other hurlers due to his four-year experience as a starter in one of the best college conferences in the nation. A tall, lanky frame (6-foot-4, 185 pounds) allows him to produce plus velocity. All of his pitches possess deceiving movement, and his four-pitch arsenal is topped off by a nasty changeup. He's very athletic, but he could stand to clean up some of his mechanics, and he eventually may need to scrap one of his pitches to become more effective against top-notch hitters.
The Orioles know what they have in Gausman, and together with Bundy, they're hoping that the two can anchor the front of their rotation for the long-term future. Gausman could rise quickly through the organization, much like Bundy has. As a result, the O's and skipper Buck Showalter will keep a close eye on Gausman's development this spring, and they aren't ruling out calling him up this September to give him valuable experience. That means he'd be a valid rotation candidate heading into the 2014 season.
On to No. 15
Top fantasy baseball prospects - AL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Top fantasy baseball prospects - NL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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