Ole Miss signed the No. 1 recruiting class in the country in 2016, and the future looks even brighter after Joseph Gray, Perfect Game’s No. 4 overall prospect for the 2018 class, committed to Ole Miss via Instagram on Tuesday afternoon. Gray, a five-tool slugger out of Hattiesburg, is the No. 2 outfielder in his class and, according to Rebel Grove’s Chase Parham, is the highest-rated Mississippi prospect in the Perfect Game era.
He was also being recruited by LSU and Vandy, though it was Mississippi State and Ole Miss that made his final two. In the summer, he is the only underclassman who plays for the EvoShield Canes, the three-time World Wood Bat Association Champions. As a junior, Gray hit .474, collected 45 RBI and slapped seven home runs.
Of course, getting a commitment from Gray and getting him on campus are different things entirely. Already 6’3 and 195 pounds, he seems destined to become the type of early-round draft pick who goes straight to the pros.
The Under Armour All-American possesses a unique blend of size and athleticism that’s not often found in 18-year olds. He runs a legit 6.6 60-yard dash (essentially a 4.4 40-yard dash) and has been clocked at 94 mph from the outfield. Gray has incredible bat speed and easy power to all fields because of the extension he gets with his long arms. In the field, he plays some short stop but he will stick in the outfield because of his athleticism and arm strength. Baseball scouts are mesmerized by his ability at such a young age to be so effortlessly athletic. He is also has a well-built lower half and good potentially add some good weight as he matures.
All these are signs that a major league team is sure to come calling but it will depend on whether or not that team meets the price that Mr. Gray wants. Usually top-five players don’t show up on college campuses. But, a handful of them did last year soooo ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Gray’s pledge comes a few days after the commitment of Hudson Sapp, who’s ranked as a top-10 player in the 2020 class. The Rebels 2016 class includes a ridiculous 10 top-400 prospects, five of which rank in the top 100.