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Gausman impresses O's with first bullpen session

Gausman impresses O's with first bullpen session play video for Gausman impresses O's with first bullpen session

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Kevin Gausman, who is the Orioles' No. 2 prospect according to MLB.com, threw his first bullpen session in Major League camp on Thursday afternoon, but manager Buck Showalter said he purposely kept his distance from the group watching the organization's top Draft pick from last summer.

"I'm probably not a good evaluator," Showalter said. "[Pitching coach Rick Adair] said it went well."

So did Gausman, who has earned the nickname "Dunkin'" by reliever Darren O'Day, a moniker which refers to Gausman's habit of eating powdered donuts in between innings when he pitches.

"It was just kind of focusing in on getting my work done -- kind of feeling my body, feeling my mechanics, more of that more than anything," Gausman said of the mainly fastball side session.

As for adjusting to big league camp, Gausman, who has his locker positioned by O'Day and closer Jim Johnson, seems to be fitting right in and taking the good-natured ribbing in stride.

"There's no rookie hazing," Showalter said. "I heard a couple of guys asking him to get them a drink of water. I haven't done that. [Top pitching prospect Dylan] Bundy was kind of an experienced receiver of that, kind of helped him."

Bundy and Gausman are the Orioles' top two pitching prospects and two of the youngest guys in camp. The fourth overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Bundy was 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 23 Minor League starts in his first full professional season last year. He pitched for three affiliates, compiling 119 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings and went 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in three starts for Double-A Bowie before being promoted to the Majors.

Gausman pitched in five games in his first pro season, spending time at short-season Class A Aberdeen and with advanced Class A Frederick. The Orioles' fourth overall selection last year, Gausman was selected as a Draft-eligible sophomore out of LSU.

"He actually tests out as one of our stronger young guys, weight-wise," Showalter said of the lanky Gausman. "The thing that hits me watching pitchers over the years is they all have a broad back.

"Gausman's got a pretty good look. I think physically he's going to be fine. I like where he is physically. Look at what great shape he's in. To the eye, he may look a little slight compared to a 28-year-old established guy. It's a lot of new stuff for him. I'm more inclined to kind of leave him alone. He's had a lot of success doing it the way he's doing it. I don't see a whole lot there to change."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["prospect" ,"spring_training" ] }
{"event":["prospect" ,"spring_training" ] }