It came as a mild surprise during the MLB draft that pitcher Jonathan Gray did not go first overall to the Houston Astros. Instead, the Astros chose to go a different route and sign Stanford RHP Mark Appel. The Rockies have signed Gray to a big 4.8 million dollar deal, and should be a force in a Colorado Rockies rotation that could definitely use some improvement.
Gray has been described as having a fastball that rests in the mid to upper 90s, a plus changeup, and a nice slider. For the Oaklahoma Sooners, Gray put up some impressive numbers. He posted a 1.64 ERA, with 147 strikeouts and just 24 walks in 126.1 innings pitched. However, he did test positive for Adderrall use before the draft, which might have been the reason for his falling down to number 3.
However, the risk is well worth the reward for the Rockies, who are in dire need of a staff ace. Starter Jorge De Larosa is decent, but the rotation really is mediocre from there. Their rotation, as a unit, has posted an ERA of 4.52, good for 22nd in the bigs. Things were even uglier in 2012, when they posted the worst rotation ERA by a longshot at a ridiculous 5.81. Coors field definitely is a hitter’s park, which inflates the numbers, but the fact remains that the Rockies do not have a good rotation. Hopefully, for the Rockies, he develops quickly and is able to contribute at the MLB level sooner rather than later.