This article is going to read a little differently than most of mine usually do. It'll be a bit more personal, but don't worry, I'm still planning to dig into plenty of analytics. I'm really excited to see Sonny Gray in a Cardinals jersey! I can't wait to share that excitement with our readers. Let's start by looking at Sonny Gray's extensive (and outstanding) track record.
Sonny Gray's Track Record
I've been a huge fan of Sonny Gray, who was selected in the first round of the 2011 draft since he debuted with the Oakland Athletics in 2013. In a limited sample, the then 23-year-old right-hander proved he belonged at the big league level. Between 2013 and 2015, Gray quietly emerged as one of baseball's best young starters. In 76 appearances (74 starts), he compiled 491 innings and registered a 2.88 ERA. In 2015, he nearly captured the AL Cy Young Award, finishing third.
Gray struggled in 2016, turning in the worst season of his career. Those struggles can largely be attributed to injury issues, as Gray made just 22 starts. In 2017, Gray was shipped to the New York Yankees at the trade deadline, where he continued his strong performance pitching to a 3.72 ERA over the final two months of the season. The following season, New York tried to make significant changes to his pitching mechanics and style. Gray struggled. He reportedly did not like playing in New York, with the big market pressure and their overbearing staff. New York traded him the following season to Cincinnati.
In Cincinnati, Gray returned to his effective self. In 2019, he made the All-Star game for the second time in his career on the back of a fabulous season. Gray made 31 starts and recorded an ERA of 2.87. His strikeout rate jumped significantly. Gray finished 7th in Cy Young Award voting. After two more strong seasons in Cincinnati, he was dealt to Minnesota, where he's been nothing but spectacular. This past season, Gray finished second in AL Cy Young Award voting after posting a 2.79 ERA in 184 innings.