Jon Gray
Jon Gray
26-Year-Old PitcherSP
Colorado Rockies
2018 Fantasy Outlook
The initial response to Gray is that we must ding him because he pitches in Colorado. What if you knew that over the past two seasons, he has held the league to a .238 average in Coors and has a 3.89 ERA there? Gray has now pitched two seasons in Colorado with at least 100 innings of work and his overall home run rate has been below 1.0 HR/9 in each season. That speaks to the quality of his stuff and how tough he is to square up when he is commanding all of his pitches. The addition of a better curveball in 2017 helped him take another step forward, but the next step is avoiding the disabled list as he has yet to make 30 starts in a season (20 last season). Rostering Gray is not as risky as is the case with most Colorado pitchers. He could come at a bargain in mixed leagues due to his zip code. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed with the Rockies for $4.8 million in June 2013.
Blames 2018 struggles on health
PColorado Rockies
October 10, 2018
Gray said his struggles this season were due to health issues, Kyle Newman of The Denver Post reports. "I wasn't really healthy," the right-hander said. "My (velocity) was down this year. I was down about 20 pounds."
The 2018 campaign was a rollercoaster of a year for Gray. The right-hander began the season as the Rockies' Opening Day starter but was sent to the minors before the All-Star break due to his struggles (5.44 ERA across 18 first-half starts). Gray flashed his potential upon his return to the majors -- he posted a 2.59 ERA across his first seven starts back with the big club -- though he struggled down the stretch and was ultimately left off the team's playoff roster. While the 26-year-old believes his struggles were health-related, he was unsure when asked if he was battling an illness. "Maybe, I'm not sure," Gray stated. "My body kind of did a 180 (degree turn) this year and I'm not sure why. I want to get it back under control and get back to being strong." Gray plans on bulking up this offseason in an effort to turn things around next year, though only time will tell if his added muscle helps.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .256 1001 246 79 232 36 12 32
Since 2016vs Right .259 915 234 62 214 45 1 23
2018vs Left .269 369 96 30 90 18 4 17
2018vs Right .262 374 87 22 90 18 0 10
2017vs Left .260 269 53 21 64 9 4 4
2017vs Right .274 192 59 9 49 8 1 6
2016vs Left .239 363 97 28 78 9 4 11
2016vs Right .248 349 88 31 75 19 0 7
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 4.30 1.25 217.2 19 7 0 9.7 2.4 1.1
Since 2016Away 4.83 1.36 232.0 13 16 0 9.5 3.2 1.1
2018Home 4.91 1.38 88.0 7 4 0 10.2 2.9 1.3
2018Away 5.34 1.32 84.1 5 5 0 8.9 2.6 1.5
2017Home 3.13 1.22 46.0 5 1 0 8.0 2.5 0.8
2017Away 4.06 1.35 64.1 5 3 0 9.9 2.4 0.8
2016Home 4.30 1.12 83.2 7 2 0 10.1 1.9 1.0
2016Away 4.91 1.40 84.1 3 8 0 9.7 4.4 1.0
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Stat Review
How does Jon 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.
94.8 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
In his first full season in the big league rotation, Gray took strides toward becoming the frontline arm the Rockies were hoping for when they selected him with the third overall pick in the 2013 draft. He improved on many fronts, raising his K/9 to an outstanding 9.9, increasing his GB/FB ratio to 1.65 and upping the average velocity of his fastball above 95 mph. Walk rate was one of the few areas that saw a slight regression, as his BB/9 increased ever so slightly to 3.2. His ERA, although improved from 2015, still sat at a less than desirable 4.61, although his 3.60 FIP suggests luck wasn't on his side. All in all, 2016 was a step forward for Gray, and at only 24 years old, he should continue to progress as he works toward being the top gun in the Rockies rotation. Coors Field will never be his friend, but he was actually better at home (3.16 FIP) than on the road (4.05 FIP) last season, suggesting that he is capable of handling the thin Rocky Mountain air.
The default with Colorado pitchers is to look at the home/road splits and try to ascertain how much Coors Field impacted his numbers. Occam's Razor suggests the most straightforward answer, so we look at the splits and see an 8.27 ERA at home (21 innings) and a 2.70 ERA on the road (20 innings) in near-equal samples. His fastball and changeup were obliterated at home to the tune of a combined 1.158 OPS in 86 plate appearances, versus a .678 OPS in 59 plate appearances on the road. The necessary caveats apply to a 41-inning sample, but it's not surprising that his stuff is less effective in Denver. It's just always going to be a problem for Colorado pitchers. We'll get seasons here and there, but long-term fantasy relevance at Coors Field seems impossible. It's not just the thin air, either, honestly it's usually more about the enormous outfield. Throw in the fact that he is slated to miss a month or more with a strained abdominal muscle to start the season, and Gray is best left untouched in standard leagues, until he is able to return and demonstrate his health. At that point he could be a useful streaming option in road starts.
Though their battered rotation presented several openings by midseason, the Rockies resisted the temptation to call up Gray and begin his service clock in the midst of a non-contending year. Gray likely would have forced the Rockies’ hand if he dominated in his first full season in the minors, but he was merely only very good at Double-A Tulsa, submitting a 3.91 ERA and 14.2 K%-BB% over 124.1 innings. It won’t preclude him from competing for an Opening Day starting gig with the Rockies this spring, but the organization probably prefers to give him a little more time in the minors to raise his performance before joining the big club later in the season and assuming his destiny as an anchor in their rotation. Having Coors Field as his eventual home park dampens Gray’s appeal more than most prospects of his caliber because of the expected ERA and WHIP hits, but the right-hander probably has a rosier fantasy outlook than the Rockies’ other highly-touted hurler, Eddie Butler, on the basis of his stronger strikeout rates.
After he was drafted third overall in the first-year player draft in June, Gray immediately made a splash on the professional stage. He was quickly advanced through rookie ball and proceeded to breeze through his five California League starts, going 4-0 with a 0.75 ERA and 36:6 K:BB ratio over 24 innings. With starting pitching being a sore spot for the organization practically since its inception, the Rockies have made it known they intend to fast-track Gray’s development, making a deployment to Double-A Tulsa or Triple-A Colorado Springs out of spring training a distinct possibility for the ascendant right-hander. At 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, Gray possesses the ideal frame for a power pitcher and the repertoire to match. With a fastball that routinely touches the upper-90s to go along with his plus-slider, Gray projects as a high-volume strikeout artist at the next level and he should already attract attention in dynasty formats.
More Fantasy News
Off NLDS roster
PColorado Rockies
October 4, 2018
Gray is not on the Rockies' NLDS roster against Milwaukee.
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Shelled by Nationals
PColorado Rockies
September 29, 2018
Gray (12-9) allowed five earned runs on seven hits while walking none and striking out one across two innings to take the loss Saturday against the Nationals.
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Making second start of week
PColorado Rockies
September 28, 2018
Gray is scheduled to start Saturday's game against the Nationals, Thomas Harding of reports.
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Start bumped up to Monday
PColorado Rockies
September 24, 2018
Gray will start Monday against the Phillies rather than Tuesday after Tyler Anderson was scratched due to left shoulder soreness, Thomas Harding of reports.
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Lined up for Tuesday's start
PColorado Rockies
September 22, 2018
Gray will start against the Phillies on Tuesday, Thomas Harding of reports.
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