Kevin Gausman
Kevin Gausman
28-Year-Old PitcherSP
Atlanta Braves
Out
Injury Shoulder
Est. Return 4/5/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Maybe it was leaving Camden Yards, the AL East, moving to the National League or simply the uplifting feeling of pitching on a playoff-bound team, but being dealt to Atlanta agreed with Gausman. After the deadline trade, he registered a 2.87 ERA and 1.14 WHIP despite fanning just 44 in 59.2 innings. Gausman recorded a 4.43 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with Baltimore, but his 4.06 xFIP before the trade was actually better than the 4.46 mark recorded after. His 16.7% HR/FB pre-deal was over twice as high as the 7.8% level post-swap. In addition, Gausman's BABIP with the Orioles was .317 compared to .260 with the Braves. The factors listed above likely helped Gausman's numbers, but he was due for some positive regression. With a full year in Atlanta on tap, expect another correction from last season's two-month sample. Unless he improves on last season's 19.1 K%, Gausman will remain subject to the whims of variance. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $9.35 million contract with the Braves in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Ticketed for IL to open year
PAtlanta Braves
Shoulder
March 24, 2019
Gausman will begin the season on the injured list, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Gausman is behind schedule due to a minor shoulder issue which delayed him earlier in camp, so the right-hander will stay back at extended spring training to get up to speed before joining the rotation when first eligible (April 5 against the Marlins). He tossed 58 pitches in a minor-league game Tuesday but will need to get up to 90 pitches before being cleared to join the rotation.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-12%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-12%
BAA vs LHP
2017
 
 
-5%
BAA vs LHP
2016
 
 
-19%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .251 1063 227 89 242 47 3 35
Since 2016vs Right .286 1286 274 79 338 62 3 48
2018vs Left .246 373 70 31 83 18 1 12
2018vs Right .281 403 78 19 106 21 2 14
2017vs Left .275 347 75 41 84 14 1 12
2017vs Right .288 469 104 30 124 25 1 17
2016vs Left .232 343 82 17 75 15 1 11
2016vs Right .288 414 92 30 108 16 0 17
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-12%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-2%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-3%
ERA at Home
2016
 
 
-38%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 3.82 1.29 277.0 18 13 0 8.1 2.6 1.4
Since 2016Away 4.33 1.43 272.0 12 22 0 8.3 2.9 1.3
2018Home 3.96 1.28 104.2 8 6 0 7.1 2.1 1.4
2018Away 3.87 1.33 79.0 2 5 0 7.5 2.8 1.1
2017Home 4.61 1.46 95.2 4 5 0 9.6 3.6 1.7
2017Away 4.75 1.53 91.0 7 7 0 7.6 3.3 1.1
2016Home 2.67 1.11 77.2 6 2 0 7.5 2.0 1.2
2016Away 4.32 1.41 102.0 3 10 0 9.6 2.6 1.6
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Stat Review
How does Kevin Gausman compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
K/BB
2.96
 
K/9
7.3
 
BB/9
2.5
 
HR/9
1.3
 
Fastball
93.6 mph
 
ERA
3.92
 
WHIP
1.30
 
BABIP
.306
 
GB/FB
1.51
 
Strand %
74.6%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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38 days ago
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Following what seemed to be a sustainable breakout year, hopes were high for Gausman in 2017. Despite an unsightly 4.68 ERA and 1.49 WHIP, things weren’t as bad as they appear. In fact, if you snatched him off waivers for the second half, you were rewarded with a 3.41 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Gausman is on record as explaining he altered his mechanics mid-season, squaring his shoulders more towards home plate as opposed to edging a bit to the third-base side. He credits the change for gaining confidence in his splitter. The numbers agree as before the adjustment, he was sporting a 6.1 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 as compared to 10.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 after. Unfortunately, homers remained an issue until September when he only allowed three long balls in 35 stanzas, his only month with a HR/9 below 1.23. For the season, he surrendered 29 homers in 186.2 innings. It’s a risk, but if you have some dependable innings in the bank, Gausman offers the kind of upside needed to win leagues.
Gausman was essentially the same exact pitcher in the 2015 and 2016 with a nine percent difference in strand rate accounting for the ERA drop. He also added 67 innings for a career-high 180. Despite a carbon copy final line, he improved in-season. His curveball went from being a disaster to a plus pitch in the final two months while his splitter went from plus to plus-plus. He wound up with a 2.83 ERA and 3.6 K:BB in 76.1 innings over those final two months. Homers have been a problem in three of his four seasons and he needs to keep the ball in the yard if he's going to cash in on the No. 2 starter upside of his stuff and skills. He did have a 1.1 HR/9 in that late season stretch, but that's only good in comparison to the 1.7 he had the first four months. Considering this was just his first full season and he's still only 26, we can grant him some leeway and still bet on the upside.
The growth of young players is not linear. It’s a mantra worth repeating, especially for young pitchers. Perhaps it should be altered with the tag “in ERA” for them, because there is a case that Gausman did take another step forward and show some linear growth from his 2014. His strikeout, walk, swinging strike, groundball, and soft-contact rates all got better, but he tacked 0.68 runs onto his ERA and threw one fewer inning than 2014, so it doesn’t feel like progress from a fantasy standpoint. This is why even 112 innings is still a small sample that can mislead, as two disaster starts cost him 0.75 runs in ERA. Those starts count, we can’t just ignore them, but they have a disproportionate effect on his bottom line and obscure the good in his season. The ideal next step would be the Orioles leaving him in the rotation all season so he can improve the finer points of pitching, like sequencing and working through lineups three times. Shoulder tendinitis has his availability for his first turn in the rotation up in the air, so he should be slightly discounted on draft day.
Gausman’s emergence is one of the reasons that Ubaldo Jimenez's flop didn’t really hurt the Orioles last season. The young righty didn’t even reach the majors until mid-May and he wasn’t permanently installed in the rotation until early June, but they were still able to get a couple wins of value from their prized prospect in just 113 innings. He has a potent four-pitch arsenal, but he needs to learn to trust his changeup more and refine the slider so he isn’t relying on his fastball nearly 70 percent of the time. Of course when you average 96 mph with your heater, it’s easy to lean on that pitch as much as Gausman did. He is still learning to pitch, though, and he showed flashes of putting it all together, especially down the stretch with a 3.45 ERA and 3.0 K/BB ratio in his final 10 starts. There is frontline potential here, but it won’t necessarily all come at once. As a result, don't pay for 200 innings of a low-3.00s ERA just yet.
The Orioles wasted no time in promoting Gausman after eight Double-A starts, but he floundered as a starter, before returning to help as a reliever as the Orioles contended down the stretch. A closer examination of his advanced stats reveals reasons to be encouraged, as he carried a 9.3 K/9 in the big leagues. One issue for Gausman was his 18.6% HR/FB, a number that will certainly come down as he continues to get experience. However, he maintained the velocity for which he was touted, flashing a fastball in the 96 mph range. The Orioles figure to enter spring training with a bevy of rotation candidates, but with an impressive spring showing, Gausman should make the rotation. If he struggles, he'll start the season at Triple-A Norfolk.
Widely regarded as the top college pitching prospect in the 2012 draft, Gausman made a brief set of appearances in short-season and High-A before starting a Double-A playoff game. Gausman throws a fastball and a changeup, but he alternated his use of a curveball and slider during his last college season. As a starter he will probably throw both of them going forward, but they need work. Gausman seems likely to start the season in Double-A with a midseason promotion possible. He could even see time in Baltimore at some point in 2013.
More Fantasy News
Still needs to raise pitch count
PAtlanta Braves
March 19, 2019
Gausman threw 58 pitches in a minor-league game Tuesday but will need to get up to 90 pitches before he's considered ready to go, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Set for minor-league start
PAtlanta Braves
March 19, 2019
Gausman will pitch in a minor-league game Tuesday, Gabriel Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
ANALYSIS
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Fails to finish first inning
PAtlanta Braves
March 13, 2019
Gausman allowed three runs on two hits and one walk while recording one strikeout over two-thirds of an inning during Tuesday's spring start against the Nationals.
ANALYSIS
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Arm feels good
PAtlanta Braves
March 9, 2019
Though Gausman (shoulder) gave up four hits and three earned runs over 1.1 innings in his return to action Friday, he felt positive overall, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. "My arm feels good," Gausman said. "It feels really quick right now. My body is working really well with it. Everything I'm doing [in the trainer's room] to get my shoulder right for the season and the important games is paying off. The ball is coming out good and it has life through the zone. That's kind of what you look for. The biggest thing right now is being healthy."
ANALYSIS
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Set to start Friday
PAtlanta Braves
Shoulder
March 5, 2019
Gausman (shoulder) will start Friday against the Phillies, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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