We have seen this story quite frequently so far in the 2015 campaign, regarding teams calling up their top prospects. Noah Syndergaard (Mets), Joey Gallo (Rangers), Carlos Correa (Astros), and most recently Francisco Lindor (Indians) and Byron Buxton (Twins). With Colorado looking to bolster their rotation, Jon Gray makes his case for the next top prospect to crack the Majors.
Gray, 23, was making headlines to possibly crack the starting rotation straight out of Spring Training, but that didn’t happen. Instead, the Rockies decided to let Gray start out in Triple-A Albuquerque and get some seasoning down there; that was the best move for the club at the time and rightfully so.
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Jon struggled mightily out of the gates which made the decision easier to stomach. Gray’s first start of the season came against the Reno Aces and let’s just say, he got rocked. Gray gave up five runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out four as opponents hit .400 off Colorado’s 3rd overall pick in the 2013 draft.
His first four starts of the season were brutal, giving up 21 earned runs over 17.2 innings pitched. Gray issued eight walks over that span, including 32 hits — two games in which he gave up ten hits a piece (back-to-back). Gray record dropped to 0-3. His performance on the mound had everyone worried, warranting the same crappy narrative that Colorado can’t develop pitchers.
Gray’s ERA after his first four starts was worrisome, standing pat at an egregious 10.70. His worst start of the season, his fourth start, came against the Las Vegas 51s, giving up seven runs on 10 hits while logging just 3.2 innings. Since that time, Gray hasn’t looked back.
Gray’s last eight starts is what Colorado has been expecting out of him all along, compiling a record of 3-2 as his ERA has dropped all the way down to 4.76. Adding on to that, Gray is coming off his longest start of his professional career, logging eight innings against the Tacoma Rainiers. Gray ended up with the no-decision, but gave up just two runs on four hits while striking out four.
Current Record: 3-5, 4.76 ERA.
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Colorado is always in need of pitching help, yet the team has been mum on the topic regarding their top prospect. One thing is for certain, Gray is well on his way to cracking Colorado’s club and it could be extremely soon. Gray’s next scheduled start is Tuesday night as the Albuquerque Isotopes play host to the El Paso Chihuahuas. First-pitch is scheduled for 9:05 PM EST, 7:05 PM MST from Isotopes Park.