Drafting third, the Colorado Rockies might as well say they stole Jonathan Gray.
Although it had been up in the air whether Gray, fellow right-handed pitcher Mark Appel or top college bat Kris Bryant would have the distinction of being the first overall pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the most recent mocks from Dave Perkin of Sports Illustrated and Jim Callis of Baseball America, both had Gray with top honors.
What changed since then?
According to multiple reports by ESPN and other news sites, Gray tested positive for Adderall, a banned substance in MLB.
While Gray’s test did not result in any suspensions, it did open up a bit of discussion as to whether this positive finding could result in harmed draft stock.
The conclusion was that it wouldn’t and that Gray would still go in the top-five, which he did. Because Adderall or not, it was not as if Gray used a performance enhancing drug. And plus, he was and is a talent that simply could not be overlooked.
Gray played the role of the Friday night starter for an Oklahoma Sooners team that went 43-19 in the 2013 season and is currently preparing for their game against LSU in the NCAA Super Regionals. Gray will likely pitch this game.
During the season, Gray dazzled, emerging ahead of his teammates and developing into a clear-cut first overall pick. He finished the season with a 10-2 record, a 1.59 ERA and 138 strikeouts compared to just 78 hits and 22 walks.
Gray topped scouting reports as the only pitcher with a fastball that projects as a plus, plus pitch. Currently sitting at a seven on a 2/8 scale, many predict Gray will have an 8 fastball when all is said and done. As it is now, his fastball sits in the high 90s and has touched triple digits both early and late in games. He also has a plus sider, a decent curve and a much-improved changeup.
There is no doubt Gray will have an excellent career as a top of the line starter, but it still remains to be seen what will come and what might have already come as a result of the positive Adderall test.
As a result of the positive, Gray will be subject to future tests as per MLB rules.
So could this have perhaps deterred the Houston Astros from selecting Gray first overall? One will never truly know. What we do know however is that the Rockies got one heck of a player that fell to them.