Colorado native and right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman, a draft-eligible sophomore, last went in the sixth round of the MLB Draft during the 2010 season, but he turned down the Los Angeles Dodgers to head to the LSU Tigers. That decision is likely to turn out well since he is on the cusp of being a top-five draft choice. In Baseball America's first mock draft, the Kansas City Royals nab Gausman at No. 5 overall:
Kansas City picked in this spot last year and missed out on the advanced pitcher it coveted when Cole, Hultzen, Bauer and Bundy went with the first four choices. The Royals will try again in 2012, and one of the three top-tier college arms should be available. If Appel, Gausman and Zimmer all disappear, Kansas City's best bet would be Zunino.
Gausman is 7-1 with a 3.16 ERA over 12 starts. He has struck out 101 batters and walked just 20 in 82.2 innings. He is a midseason finalist for the 2012 Golden Spikes Award and should be among the finalists selected at the end of May.
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