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College baseball: Jonathan Gray knew he could do better before turning pro

After being selected in 13th round by Royals and then 10th round by Yankees, an improved Oliver is now projected as a first-round draft choice.
by John Helsley Published: June 5, 2013

/articleid/3842134/1/pictures/2120922">Photo - COLLEGE BASEBALL / NCAA REGIONAL TOURNAMENT: Pitcher Jonathan Gray speaks to the media as the University of Oklahoma (OU) Sooner baseball team prepares for the NCAA Regional Baseball tournament on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
COLLEGE BASEBALL / NCAA REGIONAL TOURNAMENT: Pitcher Jonathan Gray speaks to the media as the University of Oklahoma (OU) Sooner baseball team prepares for the NCAA Regional Baseball tournament on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

This year figures to continue a trend of first-round pitching talent for the state. Last year, OSU's Andrew Heaney went No. 9 overall to the Marlins, Edmond Santa Fe High School's Ty Hensley going No. 30 to the Yankees.

In 2011, the high school ranks produced three first rounders: Owasso's Dylan Bundy at No. 4 to the Orioles, Broken Arrow's Archie Bradley at No. 7 to the Diamondbacks and Deer Creek's Michael Fulmer at No. 44 in the supplemental round to the Mets.

Gray's development into a first-round talent has been gradual, yet well executed.

While he wanted to attend OU out of high school, one season at Eastern offered him the assurance of major innings to work on complementary pitches for his overpowering fastball.

“Jon could throw really hard,” said Sooners coach Sunny Golloway. “And all he had to do was throw the fastball in high school.”

After solid strides at Eastern, Gray made the move to Norman, eventually becoming the Sooners' staff ace and one of the dominant pitchers in the country.

Leading OU into this weekend's Super Regional at LSU, Gray stands 10-2 with a 1.59 earned run average and 138 strikeouts in 119 innings.

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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