DENVER – Jon Gray was once the No. 12 ranked prospect in all of baseball and seen as the savior to the Colorado Rockies rotation woes. Now, 95 weeks on the dot since he made his debut in 2015 against the Seattle Mariners, Gray remembers that Tuesday night and the progress he’s made since.
The big bearded and blonde boisterous righty is sporting a 4.76 ERA over his 221 career innings but is coming off what was one of the best single seasons in club history for a hurler in 2016. Now sidelined with a stress fracture in his foot which has hampered most of his 2017 going back to Spring Training the 25-year-old is bursting to get back into one of the best Rockies rotations ever and regain his spot atop it.
In under full two calendar years since Gray first took the mound against Seattle where he went four innings, allowing two earned on five hits and two walks while striking out four he’s already pitched maybe the best game in Rockies history—striking out 16 against San Deigo—and become the first consistent force of the Colorado staff since Ubaldo Jimenez.
“It was a day full of events, I remember trying to focus on how to get guys out,” Gray remembered. “I was looking at the scouting reports and everything and seeing the names in the lineup and it was for real. I’m facing (Robinson) Cano and those guys but all I could think about was staying within myself, throwing strikes and keeping it simple. It was really fun.
“I wish I had more confidence then,” he continued. “I would’ve challenged their hitters a little more. But I’m glad everything worked out the way it did, it was a great debut.”
It was the most memorable 44 GameScore ever for a lot of Rockies fans because it was a day long in the making.
With the Rockies at their worst many began to turn their eyes down the farm and watch future big leaguers. Gray headlined this with his clout. His experience in the minors may be unique in the sense that many were more interested…