3. Kevin Gausman and the verdict
This pick feels like more of a dark-horse option. Unlike Samardzija and Cueto, Kevin Gausman is still in the prime of his career.
The 29-year-old journeyman has been a bit of a roller coaster in his seven-year MLB career. His best season came in 2018 when he started 31 games and posted a 3.92 ERA and 148 strikeouts.
However, since that time, he has bounced around MLB with an ERA above 5.00. Last season, Gausman’s struggles caused him to be removed from the starting rotation in Atlanta.
2020 will be a pivotal year in Gausman’s career. He appears to be locked into a regular spot in the rotation in San Francisco after signing a one-year, $9 million deal with the team during the offseason. Rotochamp currently projects him to post an ERA slightly above 4.00, with potential for 10 wins and 160+ strikeouts.
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The results won’t always be pretty. We’ve seen enough of Gausman to know that he will have some games where he looks like an All-Star and others where it seems like he belongs in the minor leagues.
However, I believe that his combination of potential, his younger age, and his motivation to earn a long term MLB contract puts Gausman in the driver’s seat to lead the Giants’ staff in 2020.
This three-man race to claim the role of Giants’ ace is extremely close. However, I predict that Kevin Gausman will shock the team with an unexpectedly solid season.
Expect the newest member of the team’s rotation to take full advantage of what may be his last opportunity to prove his skills as a viable starter. Gausman is my pick to lead the team in wins and strikeouts, while also posting a serviceable ERA.
Whether you are eagerly awaiting the chance to cheer on your Giants or preparing for your fantasy baseball draft, don’t sleep on the potential of Gausman being the ace in San Francisco.