Pitcher Jonathan Gray of Oklahoma was considered by many as a likely candidate—along with Mark Appel—to go number one in the June 6 MLB Amateur Draft to the Houston Astros; but after testing positive for Adderall, some have questioned whether or not Gray will still go number one or if his draft stock will fall. Let me put this argument to rest right away and say this positive result will have zero—I repeat, zero—effect on Gray’s draft stock heading into Thursday’s draft.
Gray has the size—6’4, 240 lbs—smooth delivery, high velocity on his fastball—which averages around 94-95 mph—and two solid complementary pitches in his slider and change-up which makes him an ideal candidate for the any organization to plug into their future rotation. Gray has the ability to become a legitimate number one or number two starter in any rotation and could be a fast riser to the majors once he is drafted.
The testing of Adderall should not be seen as a big deal, especially dealing with a player’s draft stock. Adderall, which is a stimulant, is a banned substance under baseball’s testing program but players can receive what is known as a therapeutic use exemption which would give them permission to use the substance. When Gray tested positive, he did not have a prescription for the drug which is what set this whole report into motion. Regardless of whether or not he had a prescription, using Adderall is nothing that should reflect or damage Gray’s character or pitching ability.
It isn’t like Gray was using a Performance Enhancing Drug, which would damage his character and career, he was taking Adderall. With Gray being in college and maybe needing something extra to help study for exams or remain focused on a particular activity, it is very possible that Gray had used Adderall at some point, but by no means does it signal that he is an abuser or consistent user.
According to Webmd.com, Adderall is commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as part of a total treatment plan, including psychological, social, and other treatments. It may help to increase the ability to pay attention, concentrate, stay focused, and stop fidgeting. This drug may also be used to treat a certain sleeping disorder (narcolepsy) to help you stay awake during the day. Any of those reasons could have been why Gray took Adderall and regardless of the reason, it will not and should not affect where he gets drafted.
Baseball America also reported on Monday that Marshall pitcher Aaron Blair also tested positive for Adderall. Blair, who is ranked 41st overall by Baseball America, is also unlikely to suffer much of a drop—if any at all—in his draft stock, according to the report so it isn’t as if Gray was alone in his positive test for Adderall; not that that should be used as an excuse, but it demonstrates how little of a factor a positive test for Adderall should have on a youngster’s draft stock.
Gray is a talented pitcher and he certainly will not fall out of the top five in the draft. If he were to fall a bit in the draft, presumably from the number one pick to something lower, it would be performance related or scouting related, not because of his positive test for Adderall. Gray has all the tools to be effective in this league and I have no doubt that he will be a successful pitcher whenever he makes his debut in the majors. This is simply a hiccup on his way to success and in a few weeks, it will all be an afterthought.