Former Sooner Gray Seeks Consistency In First Full Professional Season
By John Laws
A lot has changed with former Oklahoma Sooners pitcher Jonathan Gray since the Colorado Rockies selected Gray third overall in 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft. According to the Tulsa Drillers official roster, he now goes by Jon. He also wears prescription glasses due to a stigmatism which makes pitching night games more difficult. There are other inherent changes which come with the transition from collegiate to professional baseball. "This is my job now. There is no other distraction," Gray said Wednesday afternoon after a bullpen session at OneOK Field in Tulsa."This is purely baseball as opposed to college you have homework and all the other team stuff. The weekends you get to see your family and everything like that. It's different now. It's all baseball"Of course, plenty of work and some adjustments are still required in order to meet the expectations of a top five draft pick who also played at the college level. Drillers pitching coach Darryl Scott outlined the initial focus of his development. "The main thing we're trying to get accomplished early is how consistent can he be with the delivery," Scott explained. "How many times can he repeat that good delivery? With a guy like Jonathan, the foundation is there. Any adjustment we make to the delivery is minor."According to Gray, it makes sense as to why that's the current focus. "When I have a good delivery, I mean everything is right there," he said. "It's on. It's just the point of repeating it."Gray is expected to make his Tulsa Drillers debut this Saturday at OneOK Field in what he hopes to be a continuing step towards the Major Leagues. The Chandler, Oklahoma native says countless friends and family will be on hand to watch. And it may likely be a rare opportunity to see Gray in Tulsa. If he can maintain that desired consistency on the mound, a promotion to AAA Colorado Springs or beyond may be in the near future.
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