Created: Mon, 17 Feb 2014 09:37:00 MST
Updated: Mon, 17 Feb 2014 11:10:51 MST
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - It’s day one of spring training for the Colorado Rockies. in 2014, the mile-high pin-strippers will compete for an NL West crown with hopefully two Grand Junction alumni in the pitching rotation.
"We’re completely blessed to be here with the Rockies and the training facilities that they have,” said Rockies pitcher, Jonathon Gray. “I'm hoping to pick up something good, hang out with the big league guys, and have a lot of fun out here.”
Gray was taken number three overall out of the University of Oklahoma in 2013. The hard throwing righty dazzled fans with his fastball reaching upwards of 100 miles per hour.
"Sometimes the one you throw you don't know are 100, and then you look at it like, "wow, I did throw 100," said Gray. “It's something we didn't see going up this far, and now we know we can. It's definitely a great attribute."
Complementing Gray is Butler. His sovereign rule over the Pioneer League in Grand Junction was only a snippet of the dominance he has shown since moving up to AA Tulsa in his sophomore campaign.
"In Asheville, I didn't command the ball away facing a righty...so that was one of our biggest concerns and i really started to turn it around in Modesto and once I got to Tulsa it felt second nature to me,” said Rockies pitcher, Eddie Butler.
Now the two are rooming together at Talking Stick, each with high praise of the other.
"He has a fast arm and has command of all of his pitches,” said Gray of Butler. “He's deceptive and really hard to hit."
"The ease of his power is unbelievable,” said Butler of Gray. “He looks like he puts no effort into it and its 96, 97, 98, low hundreds, it's unbelievable."
Believable, is that these two will most likely be the first GJ Rockies to make the big league roster, and hopefully the two become a mainstay of the Colorado Rockies starting rotation.