Kevin Gausman (RHP, LSU) is a draft-eligible sophomore this year, making him one of the top available overall players in the 2012 MLB Draft. He's so highly thought of that he is likely to be selected within the first 10 picks and possibly within the first five. ESPN Insider Keith Law has released his first mock draft just three weeks before the event and projects the Baltimore Orioles to take the Colorado native:
Baltimore is looking for the best player available; that could be Gausman, who I currently have ranked as the top pitcher in the draft, or Correa or any of the players named above, although the Orioles are not really linked to Giolito.
In Law's first scenario, only one college pitcher goes ahead of Gausman and that is projected No. 1 overall picks Mark Appel to the Houston Astros. The other selections are high school outfielder Byron Buxton and high school pitcher Lucas Giolito.
The Orioles drafted high school pitcher Dylan Bundy with the No. 4 overall pick in 2011. He has allowed two runs (zero earned) in seven starts (25 innings). He has struck out 36 batters while walking only two. Add Gausman to an emerging young pitching corps and the Orioles' success so far this season, Baltimore would certainly continue to rise.
Gausman was a sixth-round selection by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010.
For more on the Colorado Rockies, check out the Rockies blog Purple Row. And to learn more about the latest MLB prospect news and ratings, drop by Minor League Ball with John Sickels.