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  1. Guaranteed his development will be treated differently from Garrett Cole, since Coors takes away the luxury of pitching to contact. It would make sense for the Rockies to continue developing his changeup to give him a combination that would let him ring up the K’s in the majors. The slider could then slot in as a third pitch.

    Sounds like he’s off to the right track. If the Rockies get more prospects like Gray AND develop them appropriately, they might develop a pitching staff that has an edge at Coors.

    Thanks David!

    Comment by tz — September 16, 2013 @ 9:21 am

  2. Dude, what are you talking about?

    Comment by Jhoulys Chacin — September 16, 2013 @ 11:25 am

  3. He is an intriguing prospect. Right now, he’s still clearly in generic pitcher development stage though. The real test for him and the Rockies will be next year (presumably) when he starts throwing three pitches with success at AA. If he gets promoted from there to MLB, then expect 2-3 years of struggle at the MLB level before he either breaks or figures out altitude. If OTOH the Rockies actually force him to AAA for a year or so and let him see the effects of altitude on pitch control/effectiveness – and alter his repertoire – and see the changes; then I can see him being Ubaldo v2 for 2-3 years when he finally arrives.

    Any longer career success at Coors will depend on whether the Rockies have learned the dangers of trying to get 200 IP per year out of Coors starters.

    Comment by jfree — September 16, 2013 @ 11:53 am

  4. As a Rockies fan, I’m excited to see this guy either labor in AA for four years before becoming the Sky Sox ace, or else develop into a solid major leaguer who is traded for nothing.

    Comment by rockymountainhigh — September 16, 2013 @ 1:15 pm

  5. Brilliant.

    Comment by Bryan — September 16, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

  6. This is silly. Coors doesn’t take away the luxury of pitching to contact, it just allows for more hits with that contact. An above average pitcher is still going to do an above average job, once you add in the park factors. And a guy like Gray who gets a lot of Ks while limiting homers should be fine pitching to contact.

    Comment by Alex — September 16, 2013 @ 3:56 pm

  7. “Traded for nothing”? Exactly how many pitchers developed as Rockies have been traded for nothing? If you say Ubaldo, I’ll slap you. he was traded for two top 50 prospects who so happened to not work out. You have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re complaining for the sake of complaining.

    Comment by Alex — September 16, 2013 @ 3:58 pm

  8. First off, Jonny Gray projects to be worth 4.1 WAR next year from ZIPS. So struggling for 3 years is bulls***. Second, ain’t no way he gonna be Ulbaldo 2.0 because Ubaldo was worth over 15 WAR over his best two year stretch and only 3 other pitchers have sustained a two year stretch like that since 2000. Gray isn’t that good.

    Comment by Yank — September 16, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

  9. Pomeranz was seen as more of a back-end #5 starter with below average stuff but okay feel for pitching. Alex White was seen as a good 8th inning guy, but his lack of feel for a breaking ball or splitter made him ill-suited for a rotation spot. Since being traded, Ubaldo has put up 6 WAR. I’d say that is a pretty valid gripe.

    Comment by Yank — September 16, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

  10. Where are you finding a ZiPS projection for Gray?

    Comment by hjrrockies — September 16, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

  11. that is the most revisionist history of that trade that may have ever been written

    Comment by commenter #1 — September 17, 2013 @ 12:14 am

  12. David, I appreciate the interview. Nothing like a guy’s own words to let you see a view on how he does what he does.

    And regarding Jon G.’s words, he really impressed me. He has a crystal clear idea of how he wants to get results and what his tools are. He has a very good idea regarding how to pitch, if you read what he says. “Use the grip that works. Pitch to my strengths. Have three different weapons. Keep the ball down. Get ahead. Raise velocity for the punch out. Expand the zone on breaking pitches. Change it up if the batter’s good enough to force that.” If you add ‘Make them swing at _my_ pitch,’ and ‘Be disciplined about conditioning’ (which will be important for Jon), you’ve just covered a reasonable ten essentials of successful pitching as far as I’m concerned. Gray knows his work, his youth notwithstanding.

    Jon Gray was easily the most interesting pitcher in the 2013 draft to me, and I’ll be following his development avidly. Colorado’s no great place for a pitcher, but still. Gray, Bryant, and Austin Wilson were the ones who stood out for me (not just speaking of the first round). Each has things to work on, Wilson obviously being further away (but that was known), but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Gray was the first First Rounder to make it to The Bigs. The minor league season numbers of a few others supporting their upside get them into the next tier.

    Comment by Balthazar — September 17, 2013 @ 1:47 am

  13. Jon Gray just suffocated High A hitters in an extreme hitter’s league. While developing a third pitch with a different grip. Yes, yes, tiny sample, and agreed AA will tell us a lot more. If he’s dominating there, _brief_ time on the launch pad in Colorado Springs would be good. But ‘a year or so’ doesn’t really wash. Is he commanding his pitches, and are the peripherals good, are the only real issue, to me. That said . . . I doubt anything can really prepare a guy for pitching in Coors.

    As far as 200 innings, yeah, that’s likely a bad thing with half of it in that environment, especially for a young guy who might be tempted just to reach back for triple digits as a way to avoid big innings. Pitch counts and innings limits would be in order more than in most situations, less due to Gray than due to Coors, as you imply. What I liked about Jon’s remarks here is his focus. He’s got to just see the sign and see the glove and not think too much about where the fences are. No cure all, but it may help mentally resist the conditions a bit. ‘Rocky Mountain Hypoxia’ can beat down a hurler in those parts . . . .

    Comment by Balthazar — September 17, 2013 @ 2:10 am

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