18th Overall: Athletics Select RHP Sonny Gray


The Oakland Athletics took the righty Sonny Gray from Vanderbilt University. With Vandy being a solid baseball school, Gray really developed well in college and is one of those guys who may be better for having gone to college. Gray was originally drafted by the Cubs in 2008 in the 27th round.

In his 2011 season with Vandy, Gray went 12-3 with an impressive ERA of 2.12. Gray had a high inning count with 119.0 (this includes up-t0-date postseason numbers as well). Most recently Gray pitched for Vanderbilt in the NCAA Super Regional on June 10th against Oregon State. The right-hander went 6.2 innings allowing only four hits and one run. He also earned four strikeouts and allowed two walks. This past Saturday, in the College World Series against UNC, he didn’t do as well. Gray went 4.2 innings, allowed eight hits and three runs. He earned five strikeouts but allowed five walks, despite that Vandy went on to win the game.

Sonny Gray sits at 6’0 185 pounds, and was ranked as number eight in Baseball America’s top 100 College draft prospects. He throws a low-90’s fastball, and has a violent release. Gray is also able to add and subtract from that fastball, creating good movement.  He also has an average change-up that just helps vary up his arsenal. He holds a plus potential hard 12-6 curve-ball that can really miss bats.

Our friends over at SwingingAs.com had this to say about the pick –

"The last few years the A’s have gone after talented hitters in the draft, as a way to address their lack of offense. Oakland’s farm-system, however, is in need of some quality arms now. And this year’s draft is seemingly stacked with plenty of pitching prospects, so the decision to go with Gray in the first-round was a nice choice for the A’s."

Oakland is ridiculously stacked with young talented pitchers, and Gray is no exception. As a fan that sees Texas League games on a regular basis, I cannot wait to see him play for the Midland Rockhounds whenever he may reach the Double-A level. This was a real steal for the A’s; I felt that Gray could have easily gone in the top ten.