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June 6, 2013

Perfect Game Presents

MLB Draft Prospect Reports 1-25

by Allan Simpson


1. Jonathan Gray, RHP, University of Oklahoma (Jr.)
A combination of better conditioning and improving mechanics have vaulted Gray from a potential first round pick before the season to a potential first overall pick when the Houston Astros kick off the draft on June 6. Gray has been lighting up radar guns in the 95-100 range while peaking as high as 102 mph consistently all spring and maintaining his velocity deep into starts. His slider, which some scouts feel the Oklahoma coaching staff calls too frequently, is a second plus pitch in the mid- to upper 80s with a hard and deep late bite. Not only has Gray shown dominant stuff that has been compared to Justin Verlander, he’s shown the ability to use it as well, posting an 8-1, 1.20 record in 89 innings, with only 51 hits and 16 walks allowed to go with 104 strikeouts. Batters are hitting .166-1-15 against Gray this year. Gray was a well-known prospect out of Chandler, Okla. as a high schooler, topping out at 93 mph, but was only picked in the 13th round (Royals) and again in the 10th round (Pirates) after attending Eastern Oklahoma JC in 2011 before transferring to Oklahoma.

2. Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford University (Sr.)
After turning down the Pittsburgh Pirates, who made Appel the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft, Appel returned to Stanford for his senior season. It's no secret that while Appel had the physical gifts to potential become the No. 1 overall pick last year, his signing bonus demands proved detrimental in the environment of the new CBA. A Boras Corp. client, signability is still going to be a major factor in where Appel actually comes off the board this year as well. While the perception is that he'll have less leverage this time around as a college senior, Appel has the kind of talent that should get him serious consideration to be a top two overall pick. Appel ha

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