Ride Him to Omaha
Saturday ~ 3.10.12
Kevin Gausman is a complete STUD. He is also a very gifted pitcher with special God-given talent. He’s got the complete pitch repertoire. He complements his mid 90’s fastball with a solid breaking ball and two different “Lincecum Type” change-ups. He’s got the perfect demeanor for success on the mound. And most importantly, his attitude enables him to believe in the development process.
Stud stands for Student-athlete That Understands Development.
He is . . . a coach’s dream.
He is also a scouts dream. He is poised to go high in the 2012 MLB draft come June. The Astros pick 1/1 and if I were the new GM of the Astros, I would call Friday night in the "Red Stick" - home (unless the tigers go on the road in SEC play). I know Bobby Heck, the scouting director, personally, and he will have a complete evaluation of “KG”. Keith Bogan, the area scout, has been locked in on him since last year. I remember visiting with Bog’s during a practice when KG was throwing a bully. It's safe to say, like most scouts, he's been a huge fan for a while. When I saw KG pitch in a high school game his senior year, there was 4 scouting directors (that I know - maybe more), and at least 10 National Crosscheckers in attendance. He's had fans for a while!
KG won’t escape being one of the top picks in the June draft because he is close to MLB ready. But beyond talent, what makes Gausman a complete STUD is his attitude. His attitude after he lost a 1-0 ball game to runner-up National Champion Florida (to open SEC play in 2011) was one of determination. He only gave up 5 hits to the #1 ranked Gators, but he knew that he could improve.
His attitude after losing 4-0 to Alabama while striking out 10 batters (career best till last night), walking only 1 batter, and giving up only 2 earned runs, was that of learning. He learned the importance of the "starting block" - the first inning that night saw the first 5 hitters all swing at the first pitch they saw – resulting in his 2 earned runs.
His attitude after shutting out Arkansas for eight innings with 5 punch-outs, only 1 walk, and only 5 hits surrendered was that of competitiveness. He left the game based on pitch count with the score 0-0 after eight innings – unable to get the "dub" next to his name. His competitiveness drove him to keep his pitch count down and get ahead of future hitters.
This past summer his attitude was one of pride - as he represented our country for the second time as a member of USA Baseball. How many young men have the opportunity to be named the starting pitcher for Team USA on July 4th?
These experiences have shaped Gausman’s attitude. And his attitude is why this STUD has developed into one of the nation’s elite amateur arms. I fondly, remember doing a home visit with him in February of 2010 (in Colorado), and being thoroughly impressed with his attitude and understanding of how LSU will be essential for his development.
Move over former LSU stars, the new “King of the Town” is on the bump again. He shined last night with a remarkable performance in shutting down Michigan 6-0. He recorded a career high 11 K’s with zero walks and only 2 hits allowed. After Gausman finished his night, "Big Blue" was just that!
Scouts will continue to flock but Gausman will stay the same. He’ll be the same guy he was during our home visit – a confident young man with perspective and appreciation. Why? Because his attitude is awesome! He is a STUD! LSU will ride this horse to Omaha. It's also nice to have a roster full of thoroughbreds (Eades, McCune, Rumbelow, Nola, Glenn, Goody, and on and on . . . ) Ride em! I can't wait to watch them in Omaha this summer - it's going to be awesome!