Sonny Douglas Gray (born November 7th, 1989, from Smyrna, Tennessee) is a Vanderbilt recruit whose talents have been hailed as some of the best in the nation. His fastball has been clocked as high as 95 MPH and he has been scouted by all 30 MLB teams. His hitting and pitching abilities allow him to play most every position successfully. He was drafted in the 26th round (802nd overall) by the Chicago Cubs, but has full intentions of going to Vanderbilt instead.
Family Sonny was born to Jesse and Cindy Gray. In little league, people began to realize his talents, including his father, who was his biggest fan. But tragedy struck when Jesse Gray was killed in a car accident just before Sonny started varsity baseball at Smyrna High School. On the outfield wall at the Bulldogs' baseball field is a sign that reads "In Memory of Jesse Gray".
Success at Smyrna Sonny Gray led the Smyrna High School Bulldogs to their first ever State Championship as the starting quarterback in his junior year in 2006. His rocket arm allowed for easy throws, mostly to University of Tennessee prospect wide receiver Rodriquez Wilks. He threw the game winning touchdown throw in the 2006 quarterfinals against hated rivals Riverdale, a game that propelled them to the championship (they had never beaten Riverdale until that day). In 2007, the Bulldogs repeated as AAAAA State Champions with Sonny once again leading the way. They blew out Independence in the final game of Sonny Gray's football career 46-20.
Sonny began to display his talents on the mound during the 2006 season which saw the Bulldogs fail to reach the Region Tournament. But by the start of the 2007 season, hopes were high for Sonny and for the Bulldogs. Sonny Gray posted an 11-2 record with a 0.95 ERA in 2007 as the Bulldogs won a school record 33 games and lost only 8. They reached the State tournament, where they won the first game, then lost two the next day and were bumped from the tournament. But on their way to State, Sonny pitched two of the most historic games in Bulldog baseball history. The first game was in Clarksville, where the Bulldogs needed a win to stay alive. Sonny was on the mound and threw into extra innings as he dueled with Clarksville's ace, Ryne Harper. The game remained scoreless until the top of the 9th when the Bulldogs broke through and won the game 1-0. In the Sectional Game, Sonny threw a complete game, two hit shutout on three days rest to get the Bulldogs back to State for the first time since 1987. At the plate, Sonny was a sensational hitter, posting a .457 batting average with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs. He was nominated for National Player of the Year and lost to Tim Melville. He was voted Gatorade Player of the Year by the Tennessean in 2007.
In 2008, he went 4-0 with a 0.78 ERA. However, his season and his high school career was cut short when he broke his ankle legging out a play late in the Bulldogs' season. The Bulldogs finished 9-18 and went quietly in the district tournament. For the second straight year, however, he won Gatorade Player of the Year in Baseball.