As stated many times already, if things shape out as many of the Kansas City Royals brass hopes, the team will be selecting a college pitcher with the fifth pick on Monday evening.
Louisiana State University is the seventh overall seed among the 64 as the 2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament begins play this weekend. LSU will host a regional in Baton Rouge, were the Tigers will face in-state Louisiana-Monroe. Oregon State takes on Belmont in the other match-up.
The Tigers are lead on the mound by Kevin Gausman who we have identified as one of the three popular picks for the Royals to take. It will be a tough task for anyone other than the Tigers to come out of the Baton Rouge regional as the Tigers are 31-7 at home, and 43-16 on the season.
In 15 starts, Gausman is 10-1 with a 2.84 ERA. His WHIP has been 1.09 and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is currently 5.21-to-1. He has allowed just two home runs in 403 at-bats. His WHIP is actually higher in 2012 than last year, but Gausman's strikeout rate has increased from 3.74-to-1 in his freshman season. He also has cut his home runs allowed from five last year.
Stanford is also a one seed, hosting the Palo Alto Regional where the Cardinal will take on Fresno State. Pepperdine faces Michigan State on the other side of the bracket. Stanford features Mark Appel, a 6'5" 215 lb Texas right-hander. In recent days there has been increasing speculation that the Houston Astros could take the local product with the first overall pick. Appel, who grew up an Astros fan, is 9-1 on the year with a 2.37 ERA, and 1.02 WHIP. His strikeout-to-walk ratio hasn't been quite as stellar as Gausman's, but is still a salty 4.83 strikeouts per walk issued.
San Francisco unfortunately didn't make the NCAA Tournament, so that means Kansas City fans will be unable to have the possibility of seeing Kyle Zimmer pitch on television during the tournament, but that certainly is not meant as any slight to the Dons starter.
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