Former Oklahoma Sooner pitcher Jon Gray will start on for the Colorado Rockies on Opening Day, the club announced via Twitter on Thursday. The Rockies will open the 2017 season this coming Monday (April 3) against the Milwaukee Brewers.
According to OU, Gray is the seventh Sooner pitcher in history to make a start on Opening Day, joining Garrett Richards (2016), Russ Ortiz (2004), Bobby Witt (1994, 1998), Danny Jackson (1987, 1989, 1991), Carl Morton (1971, 1974, 1976) and Don Schwall (1962) on the list.
After transferring to OU from Eastern Oklahoma State College (located in lovely Wilburton, Okla.), Gray was an absolute stud on the mound for the Sooners. In his final season, he carried an ERA of 1.64 and helped lead the Sooners to a Big 12 Tournament championship and a Super Regional appearance. He would go on to be selected third overall in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, tied for the highest draft pick in program history.
After making his MLB debut late in 2015, Gray finished with a record of 10-10 to go with an ERA of 4.61 in 2016. Although those aren’t exactly eye-popping numbers, he was able to strike out 185 batters in 168 innings, which displayed his potential and cemented him as the organization’s ace moving forward.
According to Ryan Schoppe of Purple Row (SB Nation’s Rockies blog), Gray progressed throughout his rookie season and has been stellar in Spring Training. Things seem to be moving in the right direction, and the former Sooner could become a star in the near future!