Sunday, January 29, 2017


Sometimes location means everything.  That applies to buying a home and in buying fantasy baseball players as well.  In fact if Colorado Rockies hard-throwing starter Jon Gray made his home base anywhere else in the majors, he would likely be drafted as a top 10-15 pitcher hands down.  After all, this is the same Gray whose power arsenal stuck out 185 batters in just 168.0 innings last season for the Rockies; a K/9 rate that came out to a glowing 9.91.  Gray also had one of the most talked-about outings of the season when he struck out 16 batters while making a start at Coors Field.  Unfortunately Gray did do some ratio damage to his owners last season as he his 4.61 ERA was quite high and his 1.26 WHIP straddled the mediocre realm.  Combined together, those two ratios will likely push Gray's 2017 fantasy baseball stock below where it should be and as a result, present to you his future owner a prime buying opportunity this spring.

Why am I so high on Gray?  Well besides the obvious being that Gray is likely to sail past 200 strikeouts this season, one look at his 2016 advanced numbers tell the story of a guy who was a much better starter then his 4.61 ERA showed.  For one thing, Gray suffered from some rough BABIP luck as his XFIP ERA of 3.61 bore out.  With a neutral BABIP this season, Gray could easily be in the mid-to-low 3.00 ERA range this season and his WHIP will move closer to 1.20-1.22 also.  Throw in the 200 strikeouts and all of a sudden Gray looks like an SP 2 for a guy you can draft as more of an SP 3/4.  Want some more gaudy numbers?  Try the fact that Gray's 0.96 HR/9 rate was excellent considering his home ballpark; not to mention his 3.14 K/BB rate was tremendous.  When you throw those numbers in, Gray really seems on the verge of a huge jump in value this season.

So when the draft rolls around this spring, be sure you leave a spot handy for Gray and his impending breakout.  Yes it is scary picking up any pitcher from Colorado but the fact Gray doesn't give up a lot of home runs and walks to go with a high K-Rate means he is headed for something big this season.

2017 PROJECTION:  14-9 3.35 ERA 1.23 WHIP 209 K  

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