Jon Gray Thinks He’s Noah Syndergaard

It’s opening day, and things can be weird, so let’s quickly check some Brewers and Rockies readings. Junior Guerra‘s fastball today averaged a little over 92. Last year, it averaged a little over 93. Tommy Milone‘s fastball today averaged a little over 88. Last year, it averaged a little under 88. Nothing crazy yet. Scott Oberg‘s average fastball matched up well with last year’s mark. Jon Gray’s average fastball seems up a few hairs from last year. There’s adrenaline in the first game of the season. I think we’re okay to proceed.

Let’s proceed!

That’s a slider. If I could just-

But could-

There’s no w-

Jon Gray threw a very good slider last season. According to the run values we have on the leaderboards, out of all starting pitchers, Gray’s slider ranked 14th-best, at 13.9 runs above average. He was in between Carlos Rodon and CC Sabathia. Here are the fastest average sliders thrown by starters:

Fastest 2016 Sliders
Pitcher Slider velo
Noah Syndergaard 90.9
Stephen Strasburg 89.2
Matt Harvey 88.7
Jon Gray 88.6
Jacob deGrom 88.6
Chris Archer 88.3
Justin Verlander 88.0
Michael Fulmer 87.9
Clayton Kershaw 87.9
Gerrit Cole 87.7
Starting pitchers only, minimum 50 innings.

Hey look, it’s Gray! Gray is no stranger to having velocity. He pumps his fastball into the mid-90s with regularity. The slider, last year, was something. On Monday, according to Gameday, it averaged 90.9 miles per hour. That’s right where 2016 Syndergaard sat. Granted, Syndergaard also pitched Monday, and this time his slider averaged 91.6. No pitcher should make a habit of trying to chase Noah Syndergaard, because that’s a competition you’re going to lose, but Gray was just flinging Syndergaard-esque breaking balls in between heaters, and this would take some getting used to. Unsurprisingly, going up against the Brewers, Gray was completely dominant.

And then things came off the rails in the fifth and Gray wound up with an 11.25 ERA. Surprise! It’s baseball! This is what you missed about baseball. Or what you didn’t miss at all, even just a little bit.

Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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7 years ago

He’s rocking the Noah Syndergaard hair, too.

7 years ago
Reply to  hurricanexyz

Nothing escapes Jeff…. “His average fastball seems up a few hairs from last year”