Jonathan Gray, RHP, University of Oklahoma
Class: Junior; Height: 6-4; Weight: 239
Among the biggest draft board risers at any level this season, Gray, who looked like a late first round pick or supplemental selection prior to 2012, has established himself as one of two elite collegiate pitching prospects this season (Stanford’s Mark Appel being the other). And the Oklahoma right-hander could very easily go to the Astros at #1 in June.
After beginning his career in the JuCo ranks in 2010 (53 IP and 61 K’s), Gray transitioned well into Big 12 baseball during his sophomore season, adding to the Sooners’ already impressive duo of Jordan John and Dillon Overton. In 121.2 innings, he struck out 104 (9.12) and walked 42 (3.68 BB/9).
This season, however, Gray has shown a vast improvement in control (1.66 BB/9) while maintaining an elite K-rate (10.44 K/9). He’s also given up just 16 extra-base hits (14 doubles, one triple and one homerun).
Projection: Gray, who’s been previously drafted by the Royals in 2010 and the Yankees the following year, closely parallels the production of Stanford’s Mark Appel’s production — so much so, in fact, that no data largely separates the two. Gray’s track record isn’t as extensive, especially considering his history of below-average command, but he has ace potential.
Ceiling: 5.0-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Above-Average
Drafted: Top Five
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