Along with Stanford RHP Mark Appel, Jonathan Gray is considered one of the few premier prospects in a draft class that has been widely derided as weak. While Appel is considered to be the safer of the two, Gray provides what is considered to be larger upside. Armed with a fastball that can hit triple digits and a slider that many consider to be similarly effective, Gray has a chance to be a special pitcher with some development. The consensus among talent evaluators is that Gray is a workhorse with a good fastball/slider combination, and a chance to develop into a front-of-the-rotation pitcher. The problem is that, as of now, his changeup is not fully-developed, and he may be lacking in the command department as well.
Gray will likely go in the first two picks, as the potential for a pitcher of his caliber will be too much to pass up for the rebuilding Astros and Cubs. It is also worth noting that Appel is a senior, and therefore could be an easier sign than the junior Jonathan Gray.
ESPN's Keith Law reported on Monday that Gray had tested positive for Adderall, an amphetamine used to treat attention-deficit disorder. The Joint Drug Agreement bans Adderall unless a player is granted an exemption. Law reports that, "The positive test result will not result in a suspension, but will make Gray subject to additional follow-up testing once he begins his pro career, according to a source with Major League Baseball." Sources indicated that Gray did not have a prescription. Whether this will knock Gray down in the draft remains to be seen.
|Pos||High School / College||Consensus Rank|
|RHP||Oklahoma (junior)||1st round (Astros)|
|B/T||Birthdate (age)||Height / Weight|
|R/R||11/5/1991 (21)||6'4" / 245|
What they're saying
- Nick Faleris, Baseball Prospectus: "Big, physical RHP w/durable build; stiff landing affects command; future ++ FB/SL; good workload; room for growth in stuff; potential ace."
- Keith Law, ESPN: "Gray was 92-97 when I saw him on opening weekend and was 94-98, touching 100, last weekend, with a plus slider... cleaned his body up this year right in time to enter the draft again and become a first-rounder."
- Jim Callis, Baseball America: "Rumors persist that the Astros might prefer to redistribute bonus-pool money by striking a deal with one of the hitters, and owner Jim Crane and GM Jeff Luhnow have been spotted scouting [third baseman Colin] Moran."