Jon Gray
Jon Gray
27-Year-Old PitcherSP
Colorado Rockies
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Gray came out after the season to state his 2018 struggles were due to unspecified health issues that caused him to lose 20 pounds and also some of his velocity. He had a 5.44 ERA in the first half despite a strong 21.6 K-BB%. The struggles earned him a midseason demotion, and when he returned, his ERA dropped nearly a full run, but his K-BB dropped to 11.8%. Gray's issues were exacerbated when runners were on base as the league hit .297/.379/.506 against him when anyone was on base compared to a .242/.286/.417 line with the bases empty. That was not the case in 2017 when the league hit .230/.302/.365 against Gray with runners on base. A simple return to previous levels of health and velocity should get him back on the right track as the underlying skills are there. The struggles while pitching with runners on base were simply too much to overcome in 2018. It is a fixable issue, and the Coors Field factor should keep his price down. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $2.93 million contract with the Rockies in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Bounces back with win
PColorado Rockies
May 22, 2019
Gray (4-4) picked up the win against the Pirates on Wednesday, giving up three earned runs on seven hits over seven innings, striking out seven and walking one as the Rockies prevailed 9-3.
ANALYSIS
Gray was tagged for five earned runs by the Phillies in his last outing, but he bounced back with a quality start in this contest to even up his record at 4-4. It's been an erratic start to the season for the 27-year-old righty, who had given up five earned in three of his last four starts before this one, but hopefully this strong effort is a sign he's set to get on track and hack into the 4.62 ERA and 1.34 WHIP he's currently sporting over 60.1 innings.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
Even Split
2019
 
 
-2%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-3%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-5%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .265 759 176 65 181 34 9 26
Since 2017vs Right .266 696 185 40 170 32 1 22
2019vs Left .260 121 27 14 27 7 1 5
2019vs Right .265 130 39 9 31 6 0 6
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
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-11%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-18%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-8%
ERA at Home
2017
 
 
-23%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 4.26 1.33 152.0 13 6 0 9.4 2.8 1.2
Since 2017Away 4.81 1.33 191.0 13 11 0 9.6 2.7 1.3
2019Home 4.00 1.39 18.0 1 1 0 8.5 3.5 1.5
2019Away 4.89 1.32 42.1 3 3 0 10.4 3.4 1.7
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
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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.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 40 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.87
 
K/9
9.8
 
BB/9
3.4
 
HR/9
1.6
 
Fastball
95.8 mph
 
ERA
4.62
 
WHIP
1.34
 
BABIP
.311
 
GB/FB
1.90
 
Left On Base
76.2%
 
Exit Velocity
92.0 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
8.1%
 
Spin Rate
2105 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
50.7%
 
Swinging Strike
12.2%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
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.
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
Saddled with fourth loss
PColorado Rockies
May 17, 2019
Gray (3-4) allowed five runs on five hits and three walks while striking out eight over 4.2 innings Friday in a loss to the Phillies.
ANALYSIS
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Fans eight in no-decision
PColorado Rockies
May 12, 2019
Gray didn't factor into the decision in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Padres, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk over six innings while striking out eight.
ANALYSIS
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Wednesday's game postponed
PColorado Rockies
May 8, 2019
Gray won't make his scheduled start Wednesday against the Giants as the game was postponed due to inclement weather.
ANALYSIS
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Moves to 3-3
PColorado Rockies
May 2, 2019
Gray (3-3) got the win against the Brewers on Thursday, despite giving up five runs on seven hits over 5.2 innings in an 11-6 victory for the Rockies. He struck out nine and walked two.
ANALYSIS
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Roughed up in no-decision
PColorado Rockies
April 27, 2019
Gray stuck out our and didn't factor into the decision in Saturday's 9-5 win over Atlanta. He gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks over 4.2 innings.
ANALYSIS
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