Colorado Rockies: Jon Gray
The Colorado Rockies made a surprise postseason appearance last year when they locked up the second Wild Card spot in the National League. But that’s as far as they were able to make it, as the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated them to advance to the NLDS to play the Dodgers.
With star young hitters like Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, the Rockies sport a productive and powerful lineup. It’s no secret, though, that pitching in the Colorado air can be difficult. It’s not uncommon for the majority of the Rockies’ starters to have better road ERAs.
Colorado’s starters got off to a hot start a the beginning of the season, but they ultimately came back down to earth. Gray was the only Rockies starter to finish with an ERA under 4.00.
If they want to contend again in 2018, pitching will be an X-factor for them. And leading that charge will be team ace Jon Gray. Gray had previously been drafted by the Royals in 2010 and the Yankees in 2011, but finally signed after being drafted third overall by the Rockies in 2013.
Since then, the right-hander has flashed his potential, but the numbers just haven’t been up to ace-standards, even for Colorado. That narrative should change this season. Injuries limited Gray to just 110 1/3 innings pitched, but over that period he posted a 3.67 ERA and a 3.18 FIP.
The 26-year-old has steadily improved every year since making his major league debut in 2015. Jon Gray will be the Rockies’ most important player in 2018.