Aaron Fitt of Baseball America just unleashed the worst-kept secret among Vandy fans: Sonny Gray is a freaking badass pitcher. Maybe you've heard of him?
No? The rising-Junior RHP led Team USA (USA Baseball's collegiate national team) past Japan and "Japanese sensation Yuki Saito ('The Handkerchief Prince')" to the gold-medal game of the V FISU World University Championship. That's right. How good is Sonny? He outclassed The Handkerchief Prince. That good.
Stats? Sonny went 3-0 with a 0.38 ERA. He had a 37 strikeout to 4 walk ratio spread across his 24 innings. Dominant.
The best part of the story is the profile of Sonny:
But Gray's signature outing of the summer came a week before the Japan game, in Team USA's FISU opener-a 15-0 blowout win against a severely overmatched Sri Lanka team. In a five-inning complete game, Gray needed just 69 pitches to strike out 14. He did not issue a walk and allowed just one hit.
"Forty pitches into his outing," USA pitching coach Dave Serrano said, "I turned to the dugout and said, 'Sonny Gray is taking a professional approach to this.' If he missed his spot, it may have been one pitch. It didn't matter who he was pitching against, how good or bad they were, he was pitching at a major league level. Then he started pitching in the stretch on his own just to get work pitching out of the stretch for his next outing.
"That told me everything I needed to know about Sonny Gray. It was quality work at the highest level. He was pitching like it was the gold-medal game, against a team that had no shot at all to beat him."
Sonny is the third Vanderbilt Commodore baseball player to be named the BA Summer College Player of the Year in the last 5 years (David Price, Mike Minor). Stout.
There's a lot more at the link, and I highly recommend you head over to read the full article. Video proof of the existence of The Handkerchief Prince after the break.