Dan Duquette, Kevin Gausman Talk About Signing
The Orioles' first-round pick, Louisiana State University's Kevin Gausman, said he was excited to sign with the club after two months of negotiations with the club's front office.
"I'm just so blessed to have this opportunity," Gausman said. "I'm just really excited about this road I'm going to be starting soon."
Director of scouting Gary Rajsich said there were some stressful times as negotiations with Gausman went down to the wire Friday. Major league clubs had until 5 p.m. to sign their picks. Gausman first tweeted that he had signed with the team and then the Orioles released a statement making it official.
Gausman said earlier this week that he was prepared to return to Louisiana State University.
"You're never sure until it is done," Rajsich said. "We are thrilled to have him."
Calling the Orioles an up-and-coming organization, Gausman said: "I'm happy we got this done. I think this is the perfect time for me to get started in this organization. Hopefully I'll be able to make an impact eventually."
Dan Duquette, the club's vice president of baseball operations, said the club would talk with Gausman, who pitched 115.2 innings this season, about whether they wanted him to throw inside the organization this summer.
"Kevin's been pitching straight between some of the national competitions and college and summer leagues for two years straight," Duquette said, "so I think this little rest he's had … will serve him well."
Gausman said his fastball and changeup were his current strengths and he thought his changeup was why the Orioles selected him. His breaking ball had been the subject of some scrutiny, but Rajsich said he just needed to learn confidence in throwing it over the plate.
"My fastball is kind of a sinking fastball," Gausman said. "Camden Yards, the ball kind of flies out of here sometimes, so I think that definitely had something to do with it."
Gausman was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010, but chose to attend LSU instead. He said he thought that was the right decision.
"I really didn't know what pitching was, to be honest," Gausman said.
Now, he's one of the crown jewels of the Orioles organization.
Posted July 13, 2012