Jonathan Gray's Status Won't Be Affected by Positive Test for Banned Substance

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2013

June 3, 2012; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Oklahoma Sooner pitcher Jonathan Gray (22) pitches against the Army Black Knights in the first inning in game three of the Charlottesville regional at Davenport Field.  Mandatory Credit: Kyle Laferriere-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Laferriere-USA TODAY Sports

It's not the most optimal buildup to the 2013 MLB draft, but Jonathan Gray's positive test for Adderall won't affect his draft stock in the slightest.

CBS' baseball expert Jon Heyman reported Gray was the only prospect to have failed a test. Heyman has already talked to an unnamed general manager who is not concerned with Gray's situation:

It was much the same with the USA Today's Bob Nightengale, who reported as many as three team officials aren't worried about the positive test.

If the substance that the Oklahoma Sooners pitcher tested positive for was a steroid or human growth hormone, maybe he could end up dropping a few spots. Those have a much more negative connotation associated with them than does Adderall. Teams might be a bit wary giving top dollar to a prospect who's already got a history with steroids.

However, it's not as if teams really care all that much about steroids anyway, unless you're a big name like Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens.

Michael Morse was suspended back in 2005. That didn't stop the Washington Nationals from signing him to a two-year, $10.5 million deal in January 2012, or the Seattle Mariners from trading for him. Melky Cabrera was busted last year, but the Toronto Blue Jays still signed him for two years and $16 million this past offseason.

The bottom line is, if Gray can play, he'll have a place on plenty of major league teams, including those picking at the front end of the 2013 draft.

At this point, there's no doubting Gray's standing among the top prospects available. It's pretty much him and Mark Appel vying for the No. 1 spot. Some prefer Appel, while others will prefer Gray.

Appel is a bit more polished and has fine-tuned his game a little more after turning down the Pittsburgh Pirates last year and returning to college.

It's Gray, though, who has that X-factor. Going with the safe guy has its merits, but teams will be tempted by what they see in Gray.

He's already been clocked in the triple digits, going as high as 103. While the radar gun was probably a little juiced, Gray looks to have the ability to notch at least 100 or 101 during a game.

Baseball America's editor Jim Callis has also raved about Gray's slider:

This is a guy with the proverbial "electric arm." Teams don't see a pitcher with a fastball that hits 100 miles an hour and almost equally good slider come along every year. When one is available, they'll jump at the chance to secure his services.

With the top two teams at the beginning of the draft, you've got teams that are looking to rebuild. Neither the Houston Astros nor the Chicago Cubs look like playoff contenders anytime soon. They can afford to wait while Gray hones his game in the minor leagues and then call him up in a couple of years.

Gray may lose a couple of dollars off his first pro contract, but he can count on hearing his name called at the draft very early.