The Oakland A's own only one pick out of the first 104 selections in the 2011 MLB Draft, but they…
MLB Draft Scouting Report: Sonny Gray
Events Scouted: SEC Tournament, Team USA
It's no secret that Gray is undersized, particularly for a right-handed starting pitcher. He's listed at 5-foot-11, but shouldn't be undersold physically. He's physically strong and has a thick trunk and lower half. He's going to lose out on some downward plane because of his lack of height, but he still should be strong and durable.
There are some concerns about Gray's arm action, and those aren't unfounded. There's some effort and roughness to his arm action. Given his lack of size, that could be an issue. But, overall he repeats exceptionally well, stays on top and uses his lower half to his advantage. The only real concern is the mild arm action issues.
Gray is the owner of a power fastball, and has one of the best feels for that fastball of any arm in this draft class. He cruises along at 92-95 mph, and can crank it up to 96-97 mph when he needs it. He's also willing to take a couple ticks off now and then to create more movement. Gray is aggressive early in counts with fastball and will take the quick outs. He's not infatuated with the strikeout.
The curveball is a true plus pitch for Gray that is a plus-plus offering on occasion. He locates it well and is comfortable going to it in any situation. He gets hard, downer 12-6 action and a lot of swings and misses. He'll run it down onto the shoe tops of lefties and even over the inside corner on righties at times. This is a dominant strikeout pitch at any level of competition.
Gray has three at least average offerings and the changeup is part of that mix. He throws it at 84-88 mph and sells his arm action well. The differential is not huge and it's not a swing and miss pitch at the pro level. But, he locates it well and mixes it to lefties well enough to keep them off his fastball. This is a potential average pitch at the Major League level.
Height is the only thing keeping Gray from being a lock for the top 6-7 picks in this draft class. You do have to worry about his size and whether he'll be durable as a pro. But, he has the three pitch mix including two plus pitches and above average command to be front end starter.
Draft Projection: Top 12 Picks
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