Scouting Prospect #31: Sonny Gray

We recently released our annual top 100 prospects list here at Scout.com, and to follow that up we will be providing team quality first-hand scouting reports on select prospects from that list over the course of the off-season. Here's a scouting report on prospect #31 from that list, Sonny Gray.

Name: Sonny Gray
Position: Pitcher
Team: Oakland Athletics
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 200
Bats/Throws: R/R

Events Scouted: SEC Tournament, Team USA, Instructs

Physical Description

Yes, Sonny 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.

Mechanics

When it comes to Gray's arm action there are concerns, 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.

Fastball

Gray is the owner of a power fastball, but it's his command and feel for that fastball that make him particularly unique. 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 at all infatuated with the strikeout.

Curveball

The curveball is a true plus pitch for Gray and it's a pitch that flashes potential as 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.

Changeup

Gray has three at least average pitches and his 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, but it's something he's already putting a lot of work into with his new coaches at the professional level.

Summation

The one thing keeping Sonny Gray from being unanimously considered among the absolute elite in the world of pitching prospects is his height. You 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. And, it does appear that his changeup is making strides already as a professional.

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