When the Baltimore Orioles were on the clock with the fourth overall selection in MLB’s First-Year Player Draft on Monday there was little-to-no doubt they were going to select a pitcher. Heading into the draft Stanford right-hander Mark Appel was the favorite by many to not only be the first pitcher chosen, but the first overall pick by the Houston Astros. Houston opted for shortstop Carlos Correa. The Minnesota Twins grabbed outfielder Byron Buxton with the second pick and the Seattle Mariners went with catcher Mike Zunino third.
That left the Orioles with their choice of pitchers. Appel would have been the popular choice not many would’ve had an issue with. Instead Baltimore selected starting pitcher Kevin Gausman from LSU, making him the highest drafted Tiger since the Orioles took Ben McDonald #1 overall in 1989.
The sophomore is 11-1 so far this season with a 2.72 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 115.2 innings pitched. He has an upper 90′s fastball, good changeup, and a few superstitions he feels help him pitch better.
He eats one powdered doughnut before taking the mound, something that he’s done since the 7th grade. He also eats four doughnuts in between every inning.
When he runs out to the field, he always hops the line, because growing up, his dad always told him it was bad luck to step on it. Before every inning, his first warm up pitch is preceded by a crow hop over the mound, throwing the ball as hard as he can.
“I’ve always been a little weird, really,” Gausman said. “I like sci-fi movies and I eat four doughnuts in between innings, so that’s a little weird. It’s something that started back I think in middle school. So I’ve been doing that for a while now. And I think the way I live my life I like to be a little different than other people.”
The Chicago White Sox selected outfielder Courtney Hawkins with the 13th pick and he responded by doing a back flip, which prompted general manager Kenny Williams to end any ideas of that happening again. I would imagine Kevin Gausman’s doughnut eating between innings days will come to an end when he leaves Baton Rouge. Liking sci-fi movies should still be okay.