Jon Gray
Jon Gray (43670874015) (cropped).jpg
Gray with the Colorado Rockies in 2018
Texas Rangers – No. 22
Pitcher
Born: (1991-11-05) November 5, 1991 (age 30)
Shawnee, Oklahoma
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 4, 2015, for the Colorado Rockies
MLB statistics
(through May 3, 2022)
Win–loss record53–50
Earned run average4.63
Strikeouts860
Teams

Jonathan Charles Gray (born November 5, 1991) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Colorado Rockies.

Gray played college baseball for Eastern Oklahoma State College and the University of Oklahoma. The Rockies chose Gray with the third pick in the 2013 MLB draft, and he made his MLB debut in 2015. After pitching for the Rockies through the 2021 season, Gray signed with the Rangers as a free agent before the 2022 season.

Amateur career

Gray attended Chandler High School in Chandler, Oklahoma. He played baseball, basketball, and football for the Lions, focusing on baseball his senior year.[1] That year, he was named the Little All-City Player of the Year by The Oklahoman and was named to the All-State Team.[2]

Gray at Oklahoma in 2013
Gray at Oklahoma in 2013

The Kansas City Royals selected Gray in the 13th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft, but he did not sign.[2] Oklahoma Sooners baseball coach Sunny Golloway encouraged Gray to enroll at Eastern Oklahoma State College, a junior college in Wilburton, Oklahoma, where he could continue to gain experience as a starting pitcher, as he would be used as a relief pitcher if he were to join the Sooners that season.[1] For Eastern Oklahoma, Gray pitched to a 6–2 win–loss record and a 2.89 earned run average (ERA).[3] The New York Yankees drafted him in the 10th round of the 2011 MLB Draft and offered him $500,000 to sign, but he instead opted to transfer to the University of Oklahoma.[4] In his sophomore year at Oklahoma, Gray compiled a 3.16 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 102+23 innings pitched.[1]

As a junior, Gray was named the Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week three times.[5] He had a 10–3 win–loss record, a 1.64 ERA, and 147 strikeouts in 126+13 innings pitched. He was a first team All-American and a unanimous choice for the All-Big 12 team.[3] He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 Big 12 Conference Baseball Tournament, as Oklahoma won the tournament for the first time since 1997.[6] Gray also won the National Pitcher of the Year Award.[7]

Professional career

Minor leagues (2013–2015)

Gray was expected to be among the first players chosen in the 2013 MLB Draft, and was considered by the Houston Astros, who had the first overall pick.[2][8] The Colorado Rockies eventually picked him with the third pick. Gray signed with the Rockies, receiving a $4.8 million signing bonus, which was below the recommended slot value for the pick.[9] Gray made his professional debut with the Grand Junction Rockies of the Rookie-level Pioneer League in July,[10] before receiving a promotion to the Modesto Nuts of the Class A-Advanced California League later in the month.[11] For Modesto, Gray pitched to a 0.75 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 24 innings.[12]

The Rockies invited Gray to spring training in 2014.[13] They assigned him to the Tulsa Drillers of the Class AA Texas League for the 2014 season.[14] He pitched to a 10–5 record, a 3.91 ERA, and 113 strikeouts in 124+13 innings. He missed the first round of the Texas League playoffs due to a tired shoulder.[15] The Rockies invited Gray to spring training in 2015.[16] They assigned him to the Albuquerque Isotopes of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League to start the 2015 season.[17] Gray pitched to a 6–6 win–loss record with a 4.33 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 21 games, including a 2.70 ERA in his last six starts.[18]

Colorado Rockies (2015–2021)

Gray made his major league debut with the Rockies on August 4, 2015.[18] Focusing on his fastball and slider, Gray pitched to a 0–2 record and a 5.53 ERA in nine starts for the Rockies. During the 2015–16 offseason, Gray worked to add a curveball.[19]

Gray missed the beginning of the 2016 season due to a strained abdominal muscle.[20] On May 13, Gray earned his first career major league win in a 5–2 victory over the New York Mets.[21] He finished the 2016 season with a 10–10 record, a 4.61 ERA,[22] and 185 strikeouts in 168 innings pitched.[23]

Gray in 2019
Gray in 2019

In 2017, the Rockies named Gray their Opening Day starting pitcher.[23] He went on the disabled list in April with a stress fracture in his left foot.[24] On July 5, Gray hit his first career home run off of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Scott Feldman, which measured 467 feet (142 m).[25] Gray finished the season winning 10 games in 20 starts and a 3.67 ERA. Gray started for the Rockies in the 2017 National League Wild Card Game,[26] which the Rockies lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks.[27]

Gray started for the Rockies on Opening Day in 2018, but he began the 2018 season with a 5.77 ERA in his first 17 starts. On June 20, 2018, he was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.[28] He was recalled on July 13.[29] Gray ended the regular season with a 5.12 ERA and 27 home runs allowed. The Rockies did not include Gray on their postseason roster for the 2018 National League Division Series.[30] In August 2019, Gray's season ended due to the diagnosis of a stress fracture in his left foot. In 2019, he had a 11–8 record and a 3.84 ERA in 25 starts.[31] In 2020, Gray's season was cut short due to right shoulder inflammation as he pitched in only eight starts. He finished with a 2-4 record and a 6.69 ERA.[32]

In 2021, Gray posted an ERA of 4.59 in 29 starts. He struck out 157 batters in 149 innings. After the season, the Rockies opted not to make a qualifying offer of $18.4 million for the 2022 season to Gray, and he became a free agent.[33]

Texas Rangers (2022–present)

On December 1, 2021, Gray signed a four-year, $56 million contract with the Texas Rangers.[34] He started for the Rangers on Opening Day,[35] but developed a blister on his right middle finger during the game and went on the injured list the next day.[36]

Personal life

Gray is married.[37] His grandfather was Cherokee, and Gray is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.[38] His brother, Jack, played linebacker at Northeastern State University, and is now the head high school football coach for the Chandler Lions in Oklahoma. .[1]

Since he was 10 years old, Gray has been interested in ghosts and he uses equipment for ghost hunting in hotels.[39][40]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Oklahoma's Jonathan Gray has climbed MLB draft boards this spring – college baseball – ESPN". Espn.go.com. January 1, 2008. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Helsley, John (April 9, 2013). "Oklahoma baseball: Jonathan Gray's stock is on the rise: Sooner ace is drawing rave reviews from major league scouts, and might go near the top of June's draft". The Oklahoman. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  3. ^ a b MLB (June 12, 2013). "Rockies sign 2013 No. 3 overall pick Jonathan Gray - MLB - SI.com". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  4. ^ Jon Heyman (June 11, 2008). "No Gray area: 100-mph-throwing Sooner Jonathan Gray hot prospect". CBSSports.com. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  5. ^ Ou Media Relations (April 3, 2013). "OU's Gray earns Big 12 Pitcher of the Week » Sports » Claremore Daily Progress". Claremoreprogress.com. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  6. ^ "Oklahoma wins first Big 12 tournament title since 1997". Tulsa World. May 27, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  7. ^ "Former Sooner Jonathan Gray named Pitcher of the Year by College Baseball Hall of Fame". KJRH. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "Luhnow, scouts considering options for No. 1 Draft pick | astros.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  9. ^ Snyder, Matt. "Rockies sign third overall draft pick Jonathan Gray under slot". CBSSports.com. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  10. ^ "Jonathan Gray set to make professional debut Wednesday". OUDaily.com. Archived from the original on August 2, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  11. ^ "Rockies fall to Chukars, Jonathan Gray promoted". Nbc11news.com. July 28, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  12. ^ Callis, Jim (February 4, 2014). "Pipeline Perspectives: Jon Gray and Eddie Butler give Rockies top duo of pitching prospects | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  13. ^ "Prospects Eddie Butler, Jon Gray among Colorado Rockies' invitees | Rockies.com: News". Colorado.rockies.mlb.com. February 4, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  14. ^ "Barry Lewis: Top prospects Jon Gray, Eddie Butler to start season with Drillers". Tulsa World. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  15. ^ Saunders, Patrick (September 2, 2014). "Jon Gray shut down by Rockies because of "shoulder fatigue"". The Denver Post. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  16. ^ Groke, Nick (February 10, 2015). "Jon Gray, Yohan Flande on Rockies spring training roster". Denver Post. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  17. ^ Sickenger, Ken (April 7, 2015). "Gray is ready for the Albuquerque altitude". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  18. ^ a b Saunders, Patrick (August 2, 2015). "Jon Gray scheduled to make major-league debut for Rockies against Mariners: Rockies fans have been waiting for Gray's debut all season". The Denver Post. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  19. ^ Saunders, Patrick (February 18, 2016). "Jon Gray adds curveball, seeks improvement in 2nd season with Rockies: Colorado's top pick in 2013 makes tweaks, ready to make his mark". The Denver Post. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  20. ^ "Jon Gray of Colorado Rockies sidelined couple weeks with abdominal strain". Espn.com. March 24, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  21. ^ Graham, Pat (May 13, 2016). "Jon Gray earns first major league win, Rockies beat Mets 5–2". The Washington Times. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  22. ^ Saunders, Patrick. "Slumping Rockies counting on return of Jon Gray, and return of offense, as second half begins – The Denver Post". Denverpost.com. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  23. ^ a b Groke, Nick (March 30, 2017). "Jon Gray named Rockies' opening day starter for 2017. After that, questions remain. – The Denver Post". Denverpost.com. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  24. ^ Harding, Thomas. "Jon Gray on disabled list with foot injury | MLB.com". M.mlb.com. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  25. ^ "Jon Gray launches first career home run at 467 feet". ESPN. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  26. ^ Saunders, Patrick (September 7, 2017). "Rockies confident Jon Gray can take playoff step vs. Diamondbacks – The Denver Post". Denverpost.com. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  27. ^ Groke, Nick. "Jon Gray's day went south in a hurry in Rockies' playoff loss at Arizona. They will wait to find their ace. – The Denver Post". Denverpost.com. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  28. ^ "Rockies send struggling Jon Gray to Triple-A". MLB. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  29. ^ Saunders, Patrick (July 13, 2018). "Jon Gray set to be recalled from Triple-A and will start Saturday; Antonio Senzatela, who was scheduled to start tonight, headed to DL – The Denver Post". Denverpost.com. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  30. ^ Saunders, Patrick (November 13, 2018). "Rockies' Jon Gray, working to build strength, plans to rebound in 2019". Denverpost.com. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  31. ^ "Rockies lose Gray for season with foot fracture". MLB.com.
  32. ^ "Gray (shoulder) likely done for '20". MLB.com.
  33. ^ Saunders, Patrick (November 7, 2021). "Jon Gray becomes a free agent when Rockies don't tender him a qualifying offer". Denverpost.com. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  34. ^ Landry, Kennedi (December 1, 2021). "Rangers sign RHP Gray to 4-year deal". MLB.com. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  35. ^ "Jon Gray gets Opening Day nod for Rangers". MLB.com.
  36. ^ By Evan Grant12:35 PM on Apr 9, 2022 CDT. "Rangers place Jon Gray on injured list with blister, recall reliever Spencer Patton". Dallasnews.com. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  37. ^ Groke, Nick. "Rockies ace Jon Gray loses "alter ego," but shears off hair for Locks of Love". Denverpost.com. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  38. ^ Harding, Thomas. "Rockies' Jon Gray proud of Cherokee roots | MLB.com". M.mlb.com. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  39. ^ foxsports (May 13, 2016). "Rockies pitcher Jon Gray is an avid ghost-hunter". FOX Sports. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  40. ^ Clair, Michael. "When he's not striking out batters, Rockies starter Jon Gray hunts for proof of paranormal activity | MLB.com". M.mlb.com. Retrieved September 26, 2017.