Kevin Gausman, who was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft, makes his debut Thursday for the Baltimore Orioles. Scouts and prospect watchers will tell you he's special because of his dancing mid-90s fastball and his baffling changeup. Other people will tell you he's special because of his superstitions.
Gausman, 22, is perhaps best known for his donut fetish. In college at LSU, he developed a routine of eating small powdered donuts during games. He'd eat one mini donut before his first pitch, and four between each inning. So if he threw, say, a complete game, that would be 33 mini donuts. (Aroldis Chapman approves of this pastry-pounding).
Orioles star Adam Jones even gave Gausman 1,700 mini donuts in February, which is 425 innings worth — and 97,750 total calories. So you're probably asking yourself, "how many donuts will Kevin Gausman eat in first MLB game?" The answer, actually, is zero. The Baltimore Sun reports that Gausman gave up the donut tradition on advice of nutritionists.
He still does some other odd stuff, per the Sun's article:
“I put on one sock and go get something to drink. Then I put on the other sock, take it off, and go get something to drink. Then I put it back on. Then I put on the other one and go get something to drink.”
He also leaps over the foul line when running out to the mound. And his first warm-up pitch every inning in the minors was a rocket thrown from the back of the mound after he did a little crow-hop over the pitching rubber.
It'll be interesting to see if Gausman develops any new superstitions in the big leagues. Or if the added pressures make him regress to his donut-chomping ways.
If not, Aroldis "Chompman" Chapman would like to know if anybody's going to eat those 1,700 mini donuts.