Sonny Gray
Sonny Gray
29-Year-Old PitcherSP
New York Yankees
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Gray was much maligned in 2018. He drew the ire of Yankees fans and infamously smirked as he was booed off the home field Aug. 1 following a seven-run implosion. He was moved to the bullpen shortly thereafter and finished the season with a 4.90 ERA, almost a run and a half higher than his 2017 mark, though the ERA estimators all say he deserved better (4.17 FIP, 4.10 xFIP, 4.28 SIERA). His walk rate went in the wrong direction (9.8%), but he maintained an above-average 21.1% strikeout rate and 50% groundball rate. He had a 6.98 ERA at home but was much better when he got out of the band box in New York, posting a 3.17 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, .223 BAA and 0.38 HR/9 on the road. The Yankees figure to trade Gray rather than pay him in 2019. That's a good thing for Gray, who is still just 29, as Yankee Stadium was simply a bad fit for him. As long as he doesn't go to Colorado, Gray should bounce back. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the Yankees in January of 2018, avoiding arbitration.
Reds engaged in trade talks
PNew York Yankees
November 17, 2018
The Reds have been in contact with the Yankees regarding a potential trade for Gray, John Boyle of the Dayton Daily News reports.
There's no elaboration whether there was significant progress, let alone even an offer, but that's to be expected. Of note, new Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson was also Gray's pitching coach at Vanderbilt.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
Even Split
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .252 844 178 74 191 42 1 19
Since 2016vs Right .263 933 192 82 219 52 3 32
2018vs Left .255 276 59 30 62 13 0 6
2018vs Right .284 306 64 27 76 21 0 8
2017vs Left .221 312 70 28 62 14 1 7
2017vs Right .231 366 83 29 77 16 1 12
2016vs Left .286 256 49 16 67 15 0 6
2016vs Right .286 261 45 26 66 15 2 12
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2016Home 5.32 1.46 212.0 14 15 0 7.7 3.7 1.3
Since 2016Away 3.80 1.29 196.2 12 17 0 8.6 3.2 0.9
2018Home 6.98 1.90 59.1 4 4 0 6.8 5.3 1.7
2018Away 3.17 1.15 71.0 7 5 0 9.9 2.8 0.4
2017Home 3.90 1.16 90.0 7 5 0 8.7 3.2 1.1
2017Away 3.11 1.27 72.1 3 7 0 8.2 3.1 1.0
2016Home 5.80 1.49 63.2 3 6 0 7.1 2.8 1.3
2016Away 5.57 1.50 53.1 2 5 0 7.4 3.7 1.5
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Stat Review
How does Sonny Gray compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
93.3 mph
Strand %
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Sonny Gray
MLB DFS: Sunday Cheat Sheet
September 30th
Sunday's slate of 15 games features a road matchup for Carlos Carrasco against Kansas City.
Oak’s Corner: 2019 Targets
September 28th
For his final column of the season, Scott Jenstad looks at players he’ll be targeting in the Spring of 2019, including Tommy Pham, who’s had a so-so 2018, but has flourished in his last 33 games, hitting .360 with seven homers.
The Z Files: Confession Time
September 28th
Todd Zola looks back at a couple of tough years in showcase leagues and wonders if he's been relying too heavily on projected breakouts from young players like Luis Castillo.
Minor League Barometer: That's A Wrap
September 12th
Jesse Siegel takes us through his Minor League Barometer one last time this season, highlighting the prospects that have improved or struggled the most in 2018.
DraftKings MLB: Tuesday Picks
September 11th
Derek VanRiper recommends using D-Backs pitcher Zack Greinke at the road in Colorado on Tuesday.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Gray rebounded from a nightmarish, injury-plagued 2016 campaign with the Athletics to rehabilitate his trade value and become arguably the top arm on the trade market before he was dealt to the Yankees on July 31. The right-hander didn’t really move the needle for the team’s playoff hopes by posting a 3.72 ERA and surrendering 11 homers (including eight at Yankee Stadium) over 11 starts, but he at least provided the team with another dependable innings eater behind ace Luis Severino. Along with enjoying better health, the key to Gray’s turnaround was making more use of his off-speed offerings, which aided him to an 8.4 K/9 rate, his best mark since his rookie year. With a full season in the Bronx awaiting him, Gray could struggle to curb the home-run problem that has plagued him the last two years, but it seems he has discovered a pitch mix that should allow him to avoid another disaster on the level of 2016.
The A's really screwed the pooch by not trading Gray last offseason, as the team has few assets and Gray's value had nowhere to go but down. Now coming off a disaster campaign and becoming increasingly expensive as the right-hander accrues service time, Gray's trade value is at an all-time low, and the A's find themselves in the unenviable position of having to either accept 50 cents on their trade dollar or to sit back and pay to see whether Gray can reestablish his market value. That's not to say that Gray's disastrous 2016 season was bound to happen, but as a pitcher with a very modest strikeout rate, his ultimate value was largely determined by results on balls in play, factors that are largely outside his control. He will look to resurrect his value in 2017 and the A's will give him every opportunity to do so, but he is a two-category pitcher as long as he's in Oakland and those two categories fell apart last season.
Gray followed up his successful first full MLB season in 2014 with a 2.73 ERA and 14 wins over 31 starts in 2015. Gray was one of the Cy Young favorites into September, but a few late season blow-ups pushed his ERA up more than a half point in the last month of the season. Gray did not rediscover his strikeouts from his initial big league debut (9.4 K/9 in 2013), but he did manage to cut his walks down from 3.0 BB/9 in 2014 to 2.6 in 2015. Gray supplements his average strikeout rate by limiting line drives with his 16.6-percent line drive rate — good for fourth best among all qualified starters in 2015. Gray now has two and a half fantastic seasons under his belt and while he will not get you the elite strikeouts of some of the top aces, he gets to pitch half his games in a spacious pitcher's park. It is possible that his struggles in September could push his ADP back a little bit as people may forget just how great he was for the first five months.
After a great half-season in 2013 followed by a gem against the Tigers in the ALDS, the hype was high for Gray heading into 2014 and all he did was live up to it. In his first full season, Gray won 14 games and put up a 3.08 ERA over 219 innings. His K/9 rate fell from 9.5 in 2013 to 7.5 in 2014, but that was somewhat expected with the large uptick in innings as the strikeouts really dropped off in the second half. Gray appeared to be tiring late in the year after entering August with an ERA of 2.65, but he seemed to find a second wind with a 2.25 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning over his last five starts. Gray also added to his reputation as a fantastic big-game pitcher, throwing a complete game shutout gem on the final day of the regular season to get the A's into the playoffs. The sky appears to be the limit for Gray and he should be drafted even higher in 2015, especially since he gets to pitch half his games in a spacious home park.
Gray was the A's top pitching prospect coming into 2013, and he exceeded any and all expectations upon his call-up to the A's as a starter in August. He made 10 starts with the A's and won five games, while putting up a 2.85 ERA with a 9.2 K/9. He later capped off his season with an eight-inning shutout of the Tigers in Game 2 of the ALDS. Gray features a fastball that sits in the low 90s, but he also has an exceptional curveball that he uses to strike batters out. He has a rotation spot locked up in 2014, and his future appears to be quite sunny.
Gray was selected 18th overall in the 2011 draft out of Vanderbilt. In his first full season in the minors, Gray had some growing pains compiling a 4.26 ERA in 27 starts, all but one of which were in Double-A. He has a live fastball and also possesses a curveball that was ranked as the best in the 2011 draft. Gray's strikeout rate fell way off from his six-start debut in 2011 as he only struck out 5.9 K/9 in 2012. Going into last season, it was assumed that Gray would be in the A's rotation at some point in 2013, but it looks like more seasoning is in order. For his development, 2013 will be a big year for Gray to put some results together to show he was worthy of his first-round selection.
Gray was the A's first-round selection in the June draft and was immediately tasked with facing Double-A hitters following a collegiate career at Vanderbilt. His professional debut went well during a five-start stretch with Double-A Midland. He's not an imposing figure on the mound, but does a nice job of keeping the ball on the ground and figures to spend a good chunk of the season at Triple-A Sacramento after proving that he's solved Midland to begin the year.
More Fantasy News
Unlikely to remain with Yanks in 2019
PNew York Yankees
November 6, 2018
General manager Brian Cashman said Gray "has got a good makeup, I just don't think this is the right spot for him," Matt Ehalt of The Bergen Record reports.
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Earns win in bullpen game
PNew York Yankees
September 24, 2018
Gray (11-9) allowed one run on two hits and a walk across two innings to earn the win Monday against the Rays. He struck out two.
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Takes loss in short start
PNew York Yankees
September 11, 2018
Gray (10-9) allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in a loss to the Twins on Tuesday, recording two strikeouts and three walks in three innings.
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Rejoining rotation Tuesday
PNew York Yankees
September 9, 2018
Gray is listed as the Yankees' probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Twins, Pete Caldera of The Bergen Record reports.
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Returns from paternity leave
PNew York Yankees
September 7, 2018
Gray has returned from the paternity list ahead of Friday's game against Seattle, Bryan Hoch of reports.
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