Draft : : State Preview
Thursday, May 09, 2013

MLB Draft Preview: Oklahoma

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Oklahoma
In the weeks leading up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as well as providing scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players as ranked in Perfect Game's state-by-state scouting lists.  Please visit this page for all of the links to Perfect Game's 2013 Draft Preview content.

Oklahoma State-by-State List

The state of Oklahoma has continued its historically strong draft run for the state in 2013 and could have as many as four players, including three college pitchers, drafted in the first round alone. The state’s overall talent haul could have been even higher if shortstop and right handed pitcher Ryder Jones, the son of former Oklahoma State assistant Billy Jones, hadn’t transferred to a North Carolina high school after his father took the head coaching job at Appalachian State. Oklahoma right handed pitcher Jonathan Gray has a 50/50 chance at this early point of being the Houston Astros pick with the first overall selection in the draft.

Scouts shouldn’t be making early travel bookings to return to the state next spring quite yet, though. The 2014 crop looks as thin at this time as the past four to five classes have been strong, with traditional powers Oklahoma and Oklahoma State being especially thin on premium professional level talent

  Strong armed college pitchers, overall high school talent
WEAKNESS:  College position prospects
OVERALL RATING (1-to-5 scale): 5


PROSPECT ON THE RISE: Trey Michalczewski, ss, Jenks HS.
Michalczewski was a regular on the showcase circuit last summer but was considered more of a projectable college player than a 2013 draft prospect. That has changed this spring as the Oklahoma signee has got stronger and shown increased bat speed from both sides of the plate. Michalczewski’s Jenks High School teammate, Thomas Hatch, has shown similar improvement and almost as dramatic a rise in his draft stock as well.

WILD CARD: Drew Ward, 3b, Leedey HS/Dillon Overton, lhp, University of Oklahoma:.
Oklahoma, with the exception of Jonathan Gray, seems to be full of wild cards this spring. Ward, with his late entry into the 2013 draft class and extreme rural setting to play in the spring, certainly qualifies, as does Overton with his late-April elbow injury and the consequential uncertainties built into that. One could even throw Oklahoma State right handed pitcher Jason Hursh into the mix due to his own injury history, or add Seminole CC right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz because of his not signing as a second round pick out of high school in 2012. It will be interesting how the draft boards fall in Oklahoma this year, that is for certain.

BEST OUT-OF-STATE PROSPECT, Oklahoma Connection:
 Dylan Delso, c, Cowley County CC
Top 2014 Prospect: Braden Webb, rhp, Owasso HS
Top 2015 Prospect: Corey Copping, rhp, U. Oklahoma


Draft History:
Mike Moore, rhp, Oral Roberts (1981, Mariners/1st round, 1st pick)
2008 Draft: Jordy Mercer, ss, Oklahoma State (Pirates/3rd round)
2009 Draft: Chad James, lhp, Yukon HS (Marlins/1st round, 17th pick)
2010 Draft: Andrelton Simmons, ss-rhp, Western Oklahoma JC (Braves/2nd round, 70th pick)
2011 Draft: Dylan Bundy, rhp, Owasso HS (Orioles/1st round, 4th pick)
2012 Draft: Andrew Heaney, lhp, Oklahoma State (Marlins/1st round, 9th pick)


College Players Drafted/Signed:
Junior College Players Drafted/Signed: 6/4
High School Players Drafted/Signed: 5/2


Best Athlete: 
Trey Michalczewski, ss/3b, Jenks HS
Best Hitter: Matt Oberste, 1b, University of Oklahoma
Best Power: Jon Denney, c, Yukon HS
Best Speed: Trey Michalczewski, ss/3b, Jenks HS
Best Defender: Max White, of, University of Oklahoma
Best Velocity: Jonathan Gray, rhp, University of Oklahoma
Best Breaking Stuff: Jonathan Gray, rhp, University of Oklahoma
Best Command: Alex Gonzalez, rhp, Oral Roberts


GROUP 1 (rounds 1-3)

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 a 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. For more on the big right-hander, read Frankie Piliere’s Perfect Game Draft Focus profile here.

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