The first three picks in the 2013 Amateur Draft were going to be RHP Mark Appel, RHP Jonathan Gray, and 3B Kris Bryant in some order. They were clearly the best players available. Appel went #1 overall and that left the Colorado Rockies to wait on the Chicago Cubs and see whether they would be selecting the best power arm or the best power hitter available in this year’s draft.
In what was a bit of a surprise, the Cubs went with Bryant, which left the Rockies to look at a different power bat or go with Gray. Despite some bad luck with pitchers in the past, the team made Gray the #3 pick.
Gray is a true power arm. Good, solid pick by #Rockies. Could be front-line starter of future.
— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) June 6, 2013
MLB Network draft analyst Jonathan Mayo had Gray as his #1 overall player. Most assumed that there was no way he would be available at #3. Had the Rockies passed on him because of their own bad luck with pitchers in the past or because of recent revelations about Gray’s positive test for Adderall or for any other reason, they would have been subject to significant criticism. Not that the opinions of writers and analysts is the only measure, but it is still comforting to know that the Rockies went with the best player available and drafted the type of power pitcher that they can develop for success in Colorado.
Gray pitched at the University of Oklahoma and is known for his plus-plus fastball and sharp breaking ball. It is the power fastball in particular that gives Gray a chance to be the rare successful Rockies pitching prospect.