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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: JON GRAY SP COLORADO ROCKIES

If it feels like we are in a time warp to this same point going back to last year, that is because we generally are when it comes to Colorado Rockies pitcher Jon Gray and his standing as a fantasy baseball sleeper.  It was at this time last year when we profiled Gray as a prime fantasy baseball pitcher for the 2017 season and then watched as he broke his left foot in April and only wound up making 20 starts.  Thus, Gray simply did not have the required volume to make a firm call on his season and his outlook going forward as well.  Despite this, we are back on the Gray bandwagon this spring despite the home ballpark due to the fact the talent is just way too potent to ignore. 

Now in digging in more on Gray and his standing as a 2018 fantasy baseball sleeper, let's revisit those 2017 number more:

10-4
3.67 ERA
1.30 WHIP
112 K in 110.1 IP

In terms of approach, Gray is a power pitcher personified as he has always racked up the strikeouts at a very high rate and his K/9 bears this out as he has been above the 9.0 mark each of the last two years.  Gray's average fastball velocity came in at a scorching 96.4 mph last season and 200 strikeouts seems to be his destiny if he can just stay healthy.  Tackling the other numbers, Gray's ERA dropped sharply from 4.61 in 2016 all the way down to last season's 3.67.  In addition, Gray's control continues to get better as his BB/9 of 2.45 last season was the second straight year it was under 3.00.  This is a big deal since Gray really struggled with walks earlier in his career and so he is gaining control if his stuff as he further develops.  Finally, Gray's 0.82 HR/9 was down from 0.96 the year prior and this is a crucial drop since he calls Coors Field home. 

Yes the Coors Field issue is enough to give anyone pause but consider that Gray pitched BETTER at home with a 3.13 ERA compared to 4.06 on the road.  All very good signs here and when you also consider Gray's always affordable draft price, he makes for an even better sleeper hedge this spring.

2018 PROJECTION:  14-9 3.51 ERA 1.27 WHIP 197 K  


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