Workhorse frame, physically maxed out, big shoulders, large legs; 3/4 arm slot; big leg kick; loose arm, clean arm action; fast arm speed; crossfire delivery; inconsistent landing spot; stable head; prone to missing down below the zone; delivery times: 1.33-1.46.
Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA, Rockies)
55; No. 3 starter.
Command: average. Demonstrably better command when working at a lower velo band; sinking two-seam fastball; good life down in the zone; can reach back for more velocity when he needs it; comfortable elevating the fastball in search of whiffs.
Command: fringe average. Inconsistent offering; best sliders feature hard, sweeping action with two-plane break; limited horizontal break when he locates arm side; employed slider mostly as a chase pitch in my viewing, although he did try to backdoor a few lefties; generally kept slider down below the waist.
Command: fringe average. Hard with some drop; occasionally featured cutting action; limited depth and movement; change of pace pitch, not a bat-misser.
Watching Gray was like getting two starts for the price of one. In the first few innings, he worked 95-97 with the fastball and had trouble locating the pitch, walking a few hitters, and struggling to hit the corners. As the game progressed, he noticeably -- and I believe intentionally -- reduced his velocity, but had more success working his fastball around the plate, which allowed him to get into favorable counts to unleash his slider while occasionally rearing back for more on the fastball when he wanted a whiff.
While Gray has the stuff to dominate opponents, he lacks the command and feel for pitching that would allow him to take full advantage of his raw arsenal. He's loose in the zone at peak velocity and he sacrifices some of his ability to miss bats when operating at less than full steam. He may also struggle against left-handed batters, as the changeup is inconsistent and generally doesn't offer bat missing drop or fade.
Ultimately, Gray has the body of a workhorse and the raw stuff to get by without above average command. If his command improves, he could headline the Rockies rotation for years to come. At this point though, it looks more likely that he'll wind up as a slightly above average innings eater than a top of the rotation arm.