By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript
BATON ROUGE, La. — Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray did not have to wait long to hear his name called Thursday at the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
The Colorado Rockies scooped up the right-handed pitcher with the No. 3 overall pick.
“It feels great. I finally had the dream come true,” Gray said. “My heart was beating so fast. Fortunately, my friends and family were all around me, supporting me. It’s a big relief for me because, tomorrow, I can focus on winning.”
Gray (10-2) will take the mound at 6 p.m. today when the Sooners face LSU in the opening game of their NCAA tournament Super Regional series at Alex Box Stadium.
Gray became the 18th Sooner drafted in the first round since 1967 and fourth during OU coach Sunny Golloway’s tenure.
“We’re extremely excited for Jonathan, first and foremost,” Golloway said. “He’s a young man that, I’ve commented many times, you want your son to grow up to be like. And not because of what he does on the field, just because of the person he is, the character. He works hard. He’s represented the University of Oklahoma in a first-class manner, both on and off the field.”
Gray represents the highest selection since Bobby Witt was taken by the Texas Rangers with the third overall pick in the 1985 draft.
Gray is second in the NCAA this season with 138 strikeouts. He is only the sixth OU player to pitch back-to-back 100-strikeout seasons.
Major League Baseball conducted the first and second round of its draft Thursday night. Rounds three through 15 will be held today, and the draft concludes Saturday.
OU left-hander Dillon Overton and first baseman Matt Oberste are projected as selections during today’s part of the draft.
As far as Gray’s future goes, today’s start could be the most watched of his college career. ESPN will air tonight’s game to the entire country.
“To have the third overall pick in the country that is going to be pitching for the University of Oklahoma in a Super Regional — it’s pretty exciting times right now,” Golloway said. “We’re looking forward to watching him compete tomorrow and just proud he’s a Sooner.”
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