The Oakland A’s just inked a college ball player. Vanderbilt University’s Right Hand Pitcher Sonny Gray has agreed to a deal with the A’s for a $1.54 million bonus. The A’s have been courting Gray for good reason, he was the 2011 first round pick and the was ranked 18th in the First-Year Player draft.
The five-eleven, 200 pound righty was over the moon and took his excitement to Twitter where he tweeted the following: “Thank everyone for the support this has been an awesome day for me and my family… Officially a part of the A’s as of today!” He also told MLB.com “You look forward to Draft day and you look forward to signing. Thankfully we got a deal done and I’m happy to be here.”
His days with the Vanderbilt Commodores were what got him this deal with Oakland. Gray went 12-4 with an ERA of 2.43 in 18 starts this season. He was also able to be the key player in helping his team soar to the semifinals during the this years College World Series by pitching in two of those games.
Gray didn’t waste any time after the signing. He was able to join the A’s pitching staff during practice last Monday for some ice breaking time before flying to Arizona for some time to shape up. After that he will be heading to Double-A Midland sometime at the beginning of August.
According to A’s manager Bob Melvin, Gray’s stats and positive attitude is what make him a perfect fit for the A’s organization. “He’s a tough kid who loves to compete. That doesn’t show up in the stat sheets. The stats were good, but I think what was recognized was what type of competitor he is.”
Gray is also in agreement with Melvin and makes no bones about the challenges he faces in Texas. “I thought it was a great opportunity, They came up with the proposal to send me to Midland and we jumped on it and we were excited about that. Going to Midland and going to Double-A is exciting, but it’s going to be a challenge. It’s something I’m looking forward to.”
On a side-note to this story, I found out this kid is a great all around player and not only played top-notch baseball for his High School team, the Smyrna Bulldogs, but he also able to lead the football team to back-to back Class 5A state football championships as their starting quarterback. Baseball and Football? I can’t wait to see this guy in the green and yellow.