Jonathan Charles Gray
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 245 lb.
- Schools Eastern Oklahoma State College, University of Oklahoma
- High School Chandler (OK) High School
- Debut August 4, 2015
Pitcher Jon Gray was selected out of high school by the Kansas City Royals in the 13th round of the 2010 amateur draft. He did not sign, opting to attend Eastern Oklahoma State College instead. He was then taken by the New York Yankees in the 10th round of the 2011 amateur draft but again chose not to sign. After transferring to the University of Oklahoma, he was chosen by the Colorado Rockies in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft with the third overall pick, matching Bobby Witt as OU's highest selection ever. He soon signed for a $4.8 million bonus, a Rockies franchise record. The scout was Jesse Retzlaff.
He made his pro debut for the Grand Junction Rockies on July 10, 2013 giving up 3 earned runs over 3 innings against the Billings Mustangs. He then moved to the Modesto Nuts of the California League later that year, finishing with a combined mark of 4-0, 1.93 in 9 starts. Moving to the AA Texas League with the Tulsa Drillers in 2014, he went 10-5 with a 3.91 ERA in 24 starts, striking out 113 batters in 124 1/3 innings. In 2015, he moved up to the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes. He was 6-6, 4.33 after 21 games when the Rockies called him up to make his major league debut on August 4th. Facing the Seattle Mariners, he gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in 4 innings but was not involved in the decision. In his second start, on August 10th, he held the New York Mets to one hit - a solo homer by Travis d'Arnaud - in 6 innings, but again ended up with a no-decision as the Mets won the game in the late innings. In 9 starts, he went 0-2, 5.53.
He was still winless for his career on May 7, 2016, having gone 0-1 in his first three starts of the year, when he pitched a remarkable game against the San Francisco Giants, but still could not win. Matched up against Johnny Cueto on a drizzly afternoon at AT&T Park, he gave up a single hit through 7 innings, a single by Denard Span, but he left with the game still scoreless (the Rockies lost, 2-1 in 13 innings). He finally earned his first win on May 13th when he defeated the New York Mets, 5-2, in his 14th career start. He also recorded his first career hit that day. He continued to pitch well after that, even if wins were still elusive. For example, on July 17th, he was matched up against All-Star Julio Teheran of the Atlanta Braves and the two were excellent, both leaving after seven scoreless innings. The Rockies eventually lost the game, 1-0, in the 9th. On September 17th, he set a new Rockies team record by striking out 16 batters in defeating the San Diego Padres, 8-0. The victory put him in double figures for wins, and was also both the first shutout and complete game of his career. In the 2nd inning, he became the second Rockies pitcher after Bruce Ruffin to strike out four batters in an inning, and that feat came in the middle of a stretch of striking out six consecutive batters for another record. The Rockies record for strikeouts in a game had been 14, set by Darryl Kile in 1998. He finished the year at 10-10, 4.61 in 29 starts, with 168 innings.
In 2017, he made three starts in April with no decisions before going on the disabled list after breaking a bone in his left foot. In his absence, the Rockies played very well and were in a three-team race for first place in the NL West when he came back on June 30th. That day, he recorded his first win of the year by defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks, one of Colorado's main rivals, 6-3 by giving 2 runs in 6 innings and striking out 10. On July 5th, he crushed a pitch from Scott Feldman of the Cincinnati Reds at a distance of 476 feet at Coors Field for the longest home run hit by any Rockies player that year. It was the first long ball of his career. He won for the second time that day, 5-3, lasting 5 2/3 innings. He went 10-4, 3.67 in 20 games and was designated to start the Wild Card Game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on October 4th. It did not go well, as he allowed singles to the first two batters in the game, David Peralta and Ketel Marte and then a three-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt before recording an out. After allowing a run-scoring triple to Marte with one out in the 2nd, he was replaced by Scott Oberg and was charged with the 11-8 loss.
In spite of his poor performance in the postseason, Gray was the opening day starter for the Rockies on March 29, 2018, again against the Diamondbacks. He lost again that day, 8-2, allowing 3 runs in 4 innings. He picked up a number of wins, but with a high ERA: on June 22nd, an 11-3 win over the Miami Marlins brought his record to 7-7, but it was in spite of an ERA of 5.52. After another poor start on June 28th, when he allowed 5 runs in 4 innings to the San Francisco Giants but escaped with a no-decision, he was sent down to the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes. He returned to the Show on July 14th and gave up just 4 hits in 7 1/3 innings while striking out 6 in recording a 4-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.