There is no question that the Oakland Athletics’ young ace Sonny Gray has shined this season. His success has not only been recognized in the A’s organization but also throughout the MLB. This 2015 All-Star has continued to improve throughout his time with the A’s and has been the bright spot in a dreary first half this year. Even though there are many good pitchers this year in the American League, Gray should be the one to win the Cy Young Award because he has talent, stamina, and poise each time he goes out on the field to pitch and has ultimately exceeded expectations this season.
It was projected that Gray would digress in 2015. After a great first full season in the majors in 2014, it would have not been a surprise if Gray took a step back this year. However, Gray has proven that he has a true aptitude for pitching and has only bettered himself in 2015.
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Despite his rough outing on Friday against the Minnesota Twins, Gray has been a consistent and dominate force on the mound this season. Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros and Gray have been going back and forth all season for lowest ERA in the American League. Currently, Gray is second with a 2.29 earned run average. Additionally, he is also second for WHIP and third for wins in the AL with the fifth most innings pitched among the other league pitchers this year.
Gray has also demonstrated that he has the stamina to be a starting pitcher despite his small stature. Just before the All-Star break, he completed his third career shutout. This time, it was against the Cleveland Indians. He only allowed two hits and one walk throughout the full nine frames. Furthermore, when looking back at the first half of this year, Gray has only not made it to the sixth inning twice out of 19 starts.
Lastly, despite his young age, Gray does not get rattled. He is known for having a bulldog mentality while on the mound. He has faced some of the biggest bats in baseball and has been able to get them out. A good example of this is his record against New York Yankees’ slugger Alex Rodriguez. Throughout the six times these two have faced each other, Gray has not allowed Rodriguez a single hit.
And let’s not forget to mention that Gray almost had a no-no on Opening Day this year. Even though his no hitter was snapped in the eighth inning, he did not let any first day jitters get the best of him. His performance ultimately helped the Oakland Athletics win their first Opening Day game in 11 years.
He also never lets rocky performances get him down. Even when Gray is pitching his worst, he is usually able to wrangle a victory. A prime example of this was on May 3 when Gray walked seven batters, but only allowed two hits and struck out ten in a 7-1 win against the Texas Rangers. Both the number of walks and strikeouts that occurred during this game continue to be season highs for Gray.
When Gray is out on the mound, his teammates and the fans expect a win – that is just how good he is. The bottom line is that Gray has been outstanding since joining the big leagues in 2013. He is proven that he is a true ace and deserves the AL Cy Young Award.