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June 6, 2013

Eyewitness Accounts

June 6, 2013

by BP Prospect Staff

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(Primer to this series)

Direct Links to Individual Player Reports

Jonathan Gray Dillon Overton
Marco Gonzales Nick Kingham

Name: Jonathan Gray

RHP

Team: U. Oklahoma

DOB

11/05/91

Height

6’4”

Bats

R

MLB ETA

2014

Weight

255

Throws

R

Current Team

Oklahoma

Date Seen

04/05/13

Filed By/Date

Jason Cole, 6/05/13

Acquired

2013 Draft Eligible

Have Video?

Yes

Mechanics

3/4 arm slot; big, strong frame with broad shoulders; has the body to handle big starter workload; will have to ensure body doesn’t get out of control down the line; high leg kick; arm itself works very well; clean action; excellent arm speed; stiff front side/landing leg and often falls over it towards first, especially when throwing the fastball.

#1 Pitch

Fastball: 93-97 (T98). Command: below average present, average future. Movement: good weight and life down in zone. Easy velocity; can flash an 80 fastball for extended stretches on occasion; very strong; still worked 93-95 after surpassing the 100-pitch mark in the seventh inning; does more overpowering with velocity than pitching with fastball at present; stiff landing/fall towards first causes side-to-side misses and gives me some pause about the future command profile.

Grade: Present 70/Future 70

#2 Pitch

Slider: 82-87. Command: average present, solid-average future. Movement: late with some length to break and outstanding depth. Swing-and-miss pitch that he relied upon heavily; command wasn’t pinpoint, but showed to both sides of plate against both left- and right-handed hitters; displayed idea to use and locate it; already a plus; could get to plus-plus given the sharpness and feel.

Grade: Present 60/Future 70

#3 Pitch

Changeup: 79-82. Command: below average present, average future. Movement: some fade and sink. Threw for strikes with consistency; has a feel; mechanics are presently inconsistent; should be fine with further refinement; slows and drops arm on occasion.

Grade: Present 45/Future 55

Other

Pitched backward much of the game, often starting hitters with sliders and finishing with the fastball; would have liked to see a more aggressive approach with fastball, but many pitchers attacked Texas like this this season, and many (if not all) of these pitch calls were coming from the dugout.

Overall

A power arm with a hulking 6-foot-4 frame, Gray is a name everybody knows at this point, and he’s likely to be off the board within the top few picks. The right-hander’s stuff is undeniable; his fastball is at least a 70 pitch, his present slider is an easy 60, and he shows feel for a projected quality changeup. All the tools are there for Gray to become a front-line starter, and he could zoom through the minor leagues, but there is some development needed. Right now, Gray shows a better feel for pitching with his slider than his fastball; he often relies on the overpowering velocity to get by with the heater. That’s not surprising given the success against college hitters, but he’ll need to refine the command. His arm action is fine, but the stiff landing may cause a few more command problems than his current college numbers (22 BB in 119 IP) suggest. On Friday, one day after he’s drafted, you’ll be able to see Gray on ESPN (7:00 p.m. EST) in the NCAA Super Regional against LSU.

OFP: 7; no. 2 starter

Risk Factor: High

***

Name: Dillon Overton

LHP

Team: U. Oklahoma

DOB

08/17/91

Height

6’2”

Bats

L

MLB ETA

2015

Weight

172

Throws

L

Current Team

Oklahoma

Date Seen

04/06/13

Filed By/Date

Jason Cole, 6/05/13

Acquired

2013 Draft Eligible

Have Video?

Yes

Mechanics

3/4 arm slot; high leg kick; very good athleticism; smooth delivery; comes across body on occasion; repeated well; loose, quick arm; lean 6’2” frame with perhaps some remaining projection/room to fill out.

#1 Pitch

Fastball: 89-91 (T92). Command: fringe-average present, solid-average future. Movement: fair; some late wiggle/armside life down in zone. Lived down in zone; pounded outside corner to righties with ease; some questions about ability to command inner half; may have to go across body a bit to get there; maintained velocity into late innings; body/way arm works leads me to believe there may be a tick more velo in there.

Grade: Present 50/Future 55

#2 Pitch

Changeup: 79-80. Command: fringe-average present, solid-average future. Movement: very good fading action. Can really turn the changeup over; advanced feel for offering; deceptive; maintained arm speed well; dropped slot on occasion.

Grade: Present 50/Future 60

#3 Pitch

Curveball: 75-80. Command: below-average present, average future. Movement: slider-like and flat at upper reaches of velo; true curve with solid depth at 75-77. Showed ability to manipulate break and speed on the breaker; some potential with pitch but highly inconsistent at present.

Grade: Present 40/Future 50

Other

Mature mound presence; managed the game well and appeared in control throughout.

Overall

After out-pitching teammate and potential 1/1 pick Jonathan Gray last fall, Overton had a decent spring, but it was stalled by a late-season forearm strain and velocity dip. At his best, he shows no. 3/4 starter potential with a three-pitch repertoire and advanced pitchability. He battled very well when I saw him in an early-May start against Texas, working eight innings of one-run ball while yielding five hits, walking three, and fanning six. The 21-year-old southpaw likely won’t fly through the minors as quickly as 2013 draft-mate Marco Gonzales will, but he’s advanced and could get to the big leagues in mid-to-late 2015. Overton could go in the second- or third-round range to a team that believes there’s a quality breaking ball in the arm, the feel for pitching, and fact that he can once again reach 93-94 mph from the left side, as he showed last fall.

OFP: high-5; no. 3/4 starter

Risk Factor: High

***

Name: Marco Gonzales

LHP

Team: Gonzaga U.

DOB

02/16/92

Height

6’1”

Bats

L

MLB ETA

2014

Weight

185

Throws

L

Current Team

Gonzaga

Date Seen

03/01/12

Filed By/Date

Jason Cole, 6/05/13

Acquired

2013 Draft Eligible

Have Video?

Yes

Mechanics

3/4 arm slot; good arm speed; under control and balanced; soft landing with front leg; athletic; repeats and maintains direction to plate; fairly short stride; stays on top, helping create slight downhill plane from frame (6' 1" may be a tick generous); fastball can flatten when up in the zone; lacks projection; very good deception, hiding ball very well; delivery well suited for starting.

#1 Pitch

Fastball: 88-90 (T91). Command: average present, future plus. Movement: some arm-side life and sink. Aggressive approach; consistently attacked lower portion of zone; showed ability to get to both corners; velocity plays up a notch due to deception in delivery; held velocity through nine innings.

Grade: Present 45/Future 45

#2 Pitch

Changeup: 77-80. Command: solid-average present, future plus. Movement: good fading action and sink. Money offering; showed serious confidence in the pitch, going to it often against both left- and right-handed hitters; big deception with arm action/speed; already a big-league plus and could reach a tick higher.

Grade: Present 60/Future 70

#3 Pitch

Curveball: 75-77. Command: average present, future plus. Movement: 11-to-5 with average depth. Not a put-away offering, but effective as third pitch; mostly used to grab a strike early in counts; consistently dropped in for strikes; mature offering in terms of shape and velocity.

Grade: Present 45/Future 50

Other

Feel for pitching is elite for level; command must be quality, as velo allows little margin for error; showed a cut-slider between innings in warmups, but lived off the fastball/change/curve in this start; worked primarily with fastball/change mix first two times through the order before dropping in curve for early-count strikes in the last few innings; kept hitters off balance all afternoon by mixing his arsenal; tossed a complete-game shutout versus Arkansas, throwing 79 of 111 pitches for strikes, in this look; fielded his position well; two-way player who leads his club in hitting this season.

Overall

Gonzales may be the best pitchability arm in this year’s draft. There isn’t really any projection remaining with his body, but he’s close to a finished product and should fly through the minor leagues. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s pitching in the majors next season. A high floor type with a back-end rotation ceiling, Gonzales garners comps to Angels lefty Jason Vargas as a smallish command/control lefty who relies heavily on his changeup. I had a lot of fun watching the southpaw pitch in this start against Arkansas, as he was in control throughout and kept hitters off balance all nine innings. The feel for sequencing was as good as you’ll see at the collegiate level.

OFP: 5; no. 4/5 starter

Risk Factor: Moderate

***

Nick Kingham

RHP

Pittsburgh Pirates

DOB

11/08/1991

Height

6’5”

Bats

R

MLB ETA

2015

Weight

220

Throws

R

Current Team

Bradenton

Date Seen

6/04/2013

Filed By/Date

Chris King, 6/05/2013

Acquired

Drafted 4th round; Pittsburgh Pirates 2010

Have Video?

No

Mechanics

High ¾ slot. Low effort and repeatable delivery. Medium-high leg kick, uses his legs well, finishes square to the plate in good fielding position.

#1 Pitch

FastballVelocity: 93-96 (T97). Command: above average. Movement: late action arm-side run. Uses the late run well against lefties; likes to elevate against righties. Pounded the outer half with consistency. Grade: Present 60/Future 70

#2 Pitch

Changeup: 84-86. Command: average. Movement: deceiving drop with some depth. Good arm speed. Willing to throw early in counts. Left the pitch up too much. Needs to work on the consistent velocity, reached up to 89. Grade: Present 45/Future 60

#3 Pitch

Curveball: 76-80. Command: fringe-average. Movement: decent spin with good bite. Didn’t throw it often. Stayed on top of the pitch. Could be an effective out pitch in the future. Grade: Present 40/Future 55

Other

Ideal size and frame. He commanded the game with his FB and was able to mix in off-speed stuff to get out of a couple of jams. Maintained FB velocity deep into the game. I liked how was willing to throw inside to righties, using the run on his fastball to tie them up.

Overall

Kingham plays to the strength of his FB and this makes his changeup much better. He does a good job of moving the FB up and down to change the batters eye level. He is willing to throw his change early in counts and to both righties and lefties. I would like to see the curveball more, as it showed some potential. Kingham has the size and mental game to be solid back-end starter who will be able to eat innings, but will need to work on his second and third pitches as he starts to face better hitting. Grade: 5; 4th-5th starter. Risk Factor: High

***

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