Oakland A's Sign First-Round Draft Pick Sonny Gray

Brandon McClintock@@BMcClintock_BSNCorrespondent IJuly 26, 2011

Photo by Brandon McClintock
Photo by Brandon McClintock

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.

This article is also featured on Bayseball.com.

Brandon McClintock covers the Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball for BleacherReport.com. You can follow him on Twitter:      @BMcClintock_BR.

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