One of the reasons I added this kid is that I actually saw him pitch in 2011. It was right after I started working for the Port Arthur News and Long was a junior for Barbers Hill pitching against Nederland in a bidistrict playoff series. If I remember correctly, he was outdueled in the game by one of my favorite HS pitchers right now, Mr. Strikeout Brett Brown.
From my recollection, Long is a long, angular guy who has some deception to his delivery, but is a guy scouts can really dream on. You can see from the videos below that his delivery is pretty clean and repeatable. He doesn't have great velocity right now, but you can see his lower half filling out some and really turning up the speed down the road.
Oh, and for those wondering, he's a tall and fall guy on the hill, using every bit of his 6-foot-6 frame. Texas high school pitchers have acquitted themselves well in recent seasons and I have no doubt that Long will be a guy who gets better as he ages. A smart team could tab him early in this draft, lure him away from college and maybe find a gem.
As with most high school arms, the floor here is pretty low. If he never gains velocity, he wont' be more than a possible bullpen arm. The threat of injury also looms, though his mechanics appear clean enough that it isn't a huge red flag there. Patience will also be required with him, which also lowers his floor a bit more than a guy who could be ready quickly.
How high can you dream? If he's got a mid-90's fastball in a few years, Long could be an absolute middle-rotation starter with a good chance to eat some innings. That frame should allow him to pitch quite a bit. Maybe his ceiling is a Scott Elarton-type?
Projected Draft Round
It's hard to tell. He's one of the better high school arms in this draft, but may not be elite enough to get a high slot. I'd expect him to go somewhere around Crosby's Jeremy Gabryszwski and Lufkin's Gandy Stubblefield last season, which puts him around the second to 14th rounds.
Will he sign?
These new draft rules throw that up into the air. I, of course, wouldn't object to him joining a budding baseball powerhouse like the Aggies (j/k), but I do think the possibility of him going to college is higher and higher depending on how far he falls in the draft. I figure he'd have to be tabbed in the first five rounds to have a shot at going pro.
College Commitment: Texas A&M
Bibliography after the jump
Grayson Long is one of those Texas kids coming down the Area Code pike that I thought would get better from when I first saw him and pick up speed down the line. I have not seen him since this look in the summer, but I have seen and heard that he’s got a shot to go pretty good.
Grayson Long is a right-handed pitcher who plays for Coach David Denny at Barbers Hill High School in Baytown, Texas and stands an imposing 6-foot-6 on the mound. Following last season, Long was selected as a first team All-District 19-4A pitcher along with being recognized as a member of the Texas Rangers Area Code Team. Additionally, he was named the 189th best prospect in the country by Perfect Game USA.
Righthander Grayson Long from Barbers Hill High from Mont Belvieu, Texas has a projectable frame at 6-foot-6 and 190 pounds. He had good life on his 89-91 mph fastball and mixed in a 75-76 mph curveball.