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.
Allows two runs in no-decision
PColorado Rockies
July 12, 2019
Gray pitched seven innings in a no-decision Friday, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out six in a 3-2 win over the Reds.
ANALYSIS
Gray pitched well in his first start of the second half of the season, with the four baserunners being the fewest he's allowed in a start this season. Even so, he was only let off the hook for his seventh loss when David Dahl and Daniel Murphy hit solo home runs in the eighth inning to put the Rockies ahead. Gray owns a 3.83 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP in 115 innings this season. He takes a 9-6 record and 121:42 K:BB into his next scheduled start Wednesday against the Giants.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-2%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-6%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-3%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-5%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .261 868 204 79 203 37 11 27
Since 2017vs Right .266 819 212 45 201 39 2 25
2019vs Left .249 230 55 28 49 10 3 6
2019vs Right .266 253 66 14 62 13 1 9
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
 
 
-13%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-24%
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 4.01 1.30 184.0 16 6 0 9.3 2.8 1.1
Since 2017Away 4.63 1.35 213.2 15 13 0 9.5 2.8 1.3
2019Home 3.24 1.24 50.0 4 1 0 9.0 3.1 0.9
2019Away 4.29 1.40 65.0 5 5 0 9.8 3.5 1.4
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 70 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
2.88
 
K/9
9.5
 
BB/9
3.3
 
HR/9
1.2
 
Fastball
96.1 mph
 
ERA
3.83
 
WHIP
1.33
 
BABIP
.321
 
GB/FB
1.97
 
Left On Base
77.3%
 
Exit Velocity
90.0 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
5.8%
 
Spin Rate
2122 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
43.4%
 
Swinging Strike
12.2%
 
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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
Stuck with loss Saturday
PColorado Rockies
July 6, 2019
Gray (9-6) allowed three runs on eight hits and two walks over five innings in Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Diamondbacks. He struck out four and took the loss.
ANALYSIS
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Whiffs eight Dodgers in win
PColorado Rockies
June 29, 2019
Gray (9-5) struck out eight and picked up the win Saturday, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks over 6.2 innings in a 5-3 victory over the Dodgers.
ANALYSIS
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Picks up eighth win
PColorado Rockies
June 24, 2019
Gray (8-5) got the win against the Giants on Monday, giving up four hits over six scoreless innings, striking out six and walking two in a 2-0 victory for the Rockies.
ANALYSIS
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Earns seventh win
PColorado Rockies
June 19, 2019
Gray (7-5) picked up the win Wednesday against Diamondbacks, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and a pair of walks while striking out four through six innings.
ANALYSIS
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Makes relief appearance
PColorado Rockies
June 17, 2019
Gray retired one of the four batters he faced and issued three walks in relief in Sunday's 14-13 loss to the Padres.
ANALYSIS
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