Though he was old for the level at 24 years old, Bray dominated Class A competition from Delmarva’s bullpen last season. He racked up 18 saves while holding the opposition to a .249 BAA, striking out a whopping 38% of hitters against just a 7% walk rate. That performance—paired with a solid three-pitch mix—grabbed the attention of the A’s this winter, who grabbed him as the PTBNL in a small waiver deal with the Orioles. He would be ready for the high minors if he were to remain in the bullpen, but Oakland has chosen to send the 25-year-old to High A to develop as a starter for the first time in his career.
Bray’s control is better than his raw stuff, and he’s unlikely to miss bats the way he did against younger hitters in the South Atlantic League. He pounds the zone from a clean, repeatable delivery, and given his ability to use three pitches, it isn’t surprising the A’s saw the potential to convert Bray to a rotation role. His fastball has average low-90s velocity, but it gets on hitters quickly due to plus spin and solid late acceleration through the zone. While he throws plenty of strikes, his control is better than his true in-zone command: most of his fastballs wind up in the middle-third of the zone, though he occasionally can spot up low and to either side. He spins a hard curveball with tight 10-to-4 shape with tilt in the 78-to-80 mph range that’s tough on righties and projects as an a solid-average pitch. His changeup is fringy and overthrown in the middle 80s, though he has some feel to throw it at arm speed and it has potential to improve. Bray is a classic “low ceiling, high floor” prospect who profiles as a swingman or middle reliever.