The Oakland Athletics have come to terms with their 2011 first-round draft pick, Sonny Gray, this afternoon on a $1.54 million signing bonus.
Gray was 12-3 with a 2.12 ERA in 18 games for Vanderbilt this season. He struck out 124 batters in 119 innings and held his opponents to a .200 batting average.
Gray was rated by Baseball America as having the best secondary pitch amongst college pitchers this past season.
The A's have announced that after spending a couple of weeks in the Rookie League to get stretched out, Gray will join Oakland's Double-A affiliate Midland Rockhounds to finish the remainder of the season.
Barry Zito was the last active Major League player drafted by the Oakland Athletics to jump straight to Double-A.
Oakland's 2007 first-round draft pick, James Simmons, also began his professional career in Double-A prior to losing the 2010 season to injuries.
The last A's pitcher to begin his career in Triple-A was Mark Mulder.
If Gray follows a similar career path to Zito and Mulder, he could find himself in Oakland's rotation at some point during the 2012 season.
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