With the 18th overall pick in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft, the A’s on Monday continued a decade-long college trend and selected right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray out of Vanderbilt University.
Gray, a 21-year-old who just completed his junior season, was 11-3 with a 2.01 ERA in 16 starts for Vanderbilt this year. He struck out 115 in 107 2/3 innings and compiled a 1.04 WHIP.
Coming out of high school in 2008, Gray dropped to the Cubs in the 27th round primarily because of his strong commitment to Vanderbilt. Listed at only 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, the young hurler has faced countless questions about his small stature but is said to boast tremendous makeup.
Gray, an aggressive pitcher early in the count who will take the quick outs, owns a power fastball that cruises along at 92-95 miles per hour and has the potential to reach up to 97 when necessary. He also boasts a plus curveball and locates his changeup well.
The A’s will now look toward the 105th pick (third round) and 136th pick (fourth round). They relinquished their second-round choice to Tampa Bay when they signed Type A free-agent reliever Grant Balfour in the offseason.
MLB.com has learned that lefty Brett Anderson has left the team and flown back to the Bay Area today to have his elbow examined. According to a source, Anderson believes Tommy John surgery may be a definite possibility if the ulnar collateral ligament is torn. The A’s southpaw endured two stints on the disabled list with elbow problems — mostly inflammation — last year that limited him to just 19 starts.
Following Sunday’s loss in Boston, Anderson noted that his slider, normally his best pitch, has not been as sharp as normal, nor has it brought about its usual velocity.
I’m not with the team in Baltimore, but check back later for an update on Anderson at MLB.com.