Dodgers Prospect Watch: What’s Next for Josiah Gray?

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While the next few weeks will see a handful of young, worthy prospects added to the Dodgers‘ big league expanded roster, there is still a slew of emerging superstars that remains on the fringe, out of the eye of the mainstream public.

Los Angeles management likes to refer to this as its “next wave” of player talent.

One such player among this group is righty pitcher Josiah Gray. At just 21 years of age, he has already elevated to the Double-A level. And, considering the way he has produced this season, the New York native could see Triple-A time early in his 2020 campaign.

In case you’ve forgotten, Gray was part of the package the Dodgers received when they sent sent Yasiel PuigMatt KempAlex Wood and Kyle Farmer to the Reds last winter. Once he began to acclimate himself onto the Los Angeles farm, Gray was considered by many of the media outlets to be a legitimate Top 20 team prospect. However, when the smoke started to settle on the 2019 season, he has shot his way up into the Top 5 rated prospects in the entire organization.

Gray has thrown across three levels of the farm this year and has not let any of the higher levels of competition deter him. He is coming off his second-career minor league Pitcher of the Week award just a few weeks ago when he just allowed one earned run over two starts for Double-A Tulsa.

For the year, he has tallied a 10-2 record with an impressive 2.10 ERA over 23 starts. What’s more, he has struck out 136 batters in 124-1/3 innings this season and has posted a miniscule 0.96 WHIP.

Since his promotion to Tulsa on July 17, Gray has gone 2-2 with a 2.14 ERA over four starts. He has made one relief appearance last week which suggests that team management has approached a point where they have decided to limit the youngster’s innings down the stretch run of the regular season.

Gray played collegiately for three years at Le Moyne College in New York. During his first two campaigns there, he was an infielder with a very strong arm, much like Pedro Baez and Dennis Santana were at certain points of their young careers.

Pitching finally stuck with the hard-throwing, right-hander when he competed in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2017. After he returned to Le Moyne the following year, all he did was go 11-0 with a ridiculous 1.25 ERA, striking out 120 batters over 93-1/3 innings. At that point, the 6’1″, 190 lb. Gray had a feeling he was destined for the bigs.

Forgoing his senior year of college, Gray was selected by the Reds 72nd overall as a supplemental pick in the 2018 draft. He made it to rookie league Greeneville just in time to make 12 starts, where he posted a 2-2 record with a 2.58 ERA and 59 punchouts over 52-1/3 innings of work. Opponents hit just .155 against him.

As far as his repertoire goes, Gray’s bread and butter is his heater, which has some natural cutting action and sits comfortably in the mid-nineties. It has been clocked as high as 98 MPH in 2018. For his age, he commands his fastball extremely well.

His slider is also considered a plus pitch, but it often lacks command, unlike his fastball. He also throws a changeup that’s also a bit raw. Presently, he’s being groomed as a starter, but based on the brilliance of his four-seamer, he may eventually end up throwing in relief.

If Gray does indeed hit Triple-A early next year—and he succeeds in the hitter-friendly confines of the Pacific Coast League—his major league debut shouldn’t be too far away.

 

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17 thoughts on “Dodgers Prospect Watch: What’s Next for Josiah Gray?

  1. Interesting start.

    On the Turner call…. if it’s a bunt and they touch each other it’s incidental contact. Batter’s leaving the box, he’s entitled to a clear path. On a pop up it’s called differently. Maybe somebody can explain the difference? Alex didn’t. As a former ump, on plays like that, each is entitled to that particular space, it was a no call for me. Once out of the box and in the baseline it’s different.

    Game not blacked out yet here. My first look at the uni’s. I don’t have a problem with them just for a weekend.

    Just for review – on a check swing if the bat passes through the strike zone it’s a strike. And where is the strike zone? Directly over the plate. Taylor’s check swing was a strike. Some umps call it if the bat ENTERS the strike zone. I don’t have a problem with that either.

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      1. Valid point Dennis. It did make it look more like interference. But in my opinion it’s no different than a right handed hitter going to a knee or stumbling before he leaves the box. Again, it happens a lot on bunts. And in this case he just barely touched him. And Sanchez wasn’t catching that ballif he was all by hisself out there. He made it look like it was dropped out of a blimp or something.

        German is another Yankees starter dealing against us.

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      2. Seems to me that the Dodgers almost always hammer subpar pitching into oblivion, paddling their impressive offensive stats in the process. However, for L.A. to succeed in the postseason, they’re gonna need to deliver against the better pitchers. I don’t think they’ll be facing much mediocre pitching in the postseason, especially if they make it to the Series.

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  2. You’re absolutley right Dennis! Only Turner and Freese have consistently shown to step up in the biggest moments. This post season is going to be a defining moment for Belli, Seager and Muncy. What r u made of!

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  3. Well Yankee pitching just throttled us 3 straight games. In LA. Are they better than us? They are in late August.

    Players Weekend. Glad it’s over. They can end it as far as I’m concerned.

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    1. We’ve now been throttled 5 straight games. If struggled the past few years trying to decide if they are as good as they appear much as the time or as bad as they appear some of the time. When they play half their games against sub 500 teams in the dreadful west division how do you tell . I have often said that there are several teams that would win 115 games in that division. What I don’t know is how many the dodgers would win in the american league especially the east. Maybe 90? You are right scoop. They just cant hit good pitching and have to win 2 to 1 or lose. Anyone have stats on team records against sub 500 teams?

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  4. Since the White unis were worn by all of the home teams there were a lot of complaints about them from hitters. Not that it makes any difference. Before, the players weekend uni’s were very colorful, this weekend they were just bland. I do not think it is a trend or thing that will be with baseball forever. I am not going to get upset or make assumptions about a series in August. The Dodger offense has basically been shut down the last 5 games, not just the Yankee series. Since their 16 run outburst they have scored, 2, 3, 2, 2 and 1 runs. They have left a ton of men on base. They have also had some pretty good defensive plays made against them to keep them from scoring. Gardner’s play on the blast by Seager was one of those. And I stated earlier, they have plenty of wins against quality pitching. And when their starters limit teams to below 4 runs, they usually win. The Yankees hit 9 HR’s in the series, 3 of them by Judge, the Dodgers hit 2. Bellinger did nothing nor did Muncy. Belli looked totally lost most of the series. Your best hitter is slumping again, you are not going to win. They have 30 games left. Most of them with sub .500 teams. They are resting players, mixing lineups, and generally getting ready for the post season. No one has any idea who their opponent is going to be in the playoffs. They need to make sure they have home field in the NL playoffs first of all. It will all work itself out. We can do nothing but watch.

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  5. We are 5-5 in our last 10. We could do that the rest of the way and win the Division by double digits. We would also likely lose home field.

    I feel I have to mention two defensive plays that grated me. Actually it was the same play. Tauchman stealing second and Muncy takes the throw on the wrong side of the bag. This is a Little League error. Of course the ball gets by him for an error (on Barnes, who made a good throw) and the reason it’s an error is because the center fielder isn’t backing up second so the runner goes to third. Mistakes by Muncy and Taylor and Barnes gets the error. It’s just a dumb play by Muncy until the runner gets up and goes to third. It becomes an error because Taylor is standing in center with his thumb up has ass. Garbage like that should not happen at the Major League level and is certainly not a part of championship teams. I blame it on coaching. And I say again Muncy is no second baseman. He proves that to me over and over. He’s here because he can hit and frankly I doubt anything will be said to him or the centerfielder.

    Our outfield stands around watching on every play and our second baseman doesn’t know how to take a throw on a steal. Maddening. But we can hit. Sometimes.

    Ok, end of screed. Back to your regular programming.

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  6. These guys are major leaguers and should definitely know and be able to execute the kind of moves you mention here, but this is part of the price you pay for having a guy like CT3 start one day in left, the next day at short, the next day at second and the following day in center. Or a guy like Muncy start one day at second, two days at first, and then the next day at third. When a guy plays the same position every day, muscle memory takes care of most of this positioning. When he plays a different position every day, he needs to think about every move he makes and that leads to problems such as what you’ve described here.
    Poor Barnes has taken enough grief lately so I was also upset to see him given the error when obviously the fault was with Max.

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  7. Gordon60…………….Go to baseball reference dot com. You can type in Los Angeles Dodgers season record 2019. They give the day by day results and the results against each team. I posted it the other day. The only contending team they have played in the NL that they have a losing record against is St. Louis. They have beaten some very good pitchers. Every team goes into a slide now and then, that is the way baseball is. Just because they have not been scoring a lot the last 5 games doesn’t mean they don’t turn it around. I would rather see them in a short funk like right now and hot going into the playoffs. Everybody thinks it is the end of the world and a world series preview and the Yankees are going to bludgeon everybody. Both teams have to get there first, and taking care of business in your own league and division is part of that.

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  8. You’re right Jefe, these guys are professionals. Errors are one thing but poor fundamentals at this level level is inexcusable. I played on softball teams where all players knew where to be on every play – and this was after working a real job for 8 hours before getting to the park. Muncy is just not well schooled and outfielders who stand and watch are prevalent all over the league. I don’t understand it.

    I think a very good Yankee team came to town and played well against an equally good Dodger team that is in something of a funk. They took 2 out 3 in August, but that doesn’t mean they will do it in October.

    How long will the funk last? Who knows. And we may not know for a while. Take a look at the schedule. There are no Division challengers and only 2 Wild Card candidates the rest of the way – and we will have the Division won by the time we see them. I can see cruise control the rest of the way then petal to the metal all of a sudden come October. Whoever we play will likely have just gone through a grind to get to us.

    The Dodgers couldn’t turn it on when they needed to this past weekend. It gives me pause, but with this much time left I’m not worried.

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    1. I think you’ve hit on it Scoop. We need to get these guys a 9-5 job that can occupy them before they get to the park every night.
      It’s going to be hard for Doc to inspire the guys to do much of anything but cruise control the rest of the way. I hope he comes up with something because sometimes it ain’t that easy to get out of cruise control when you want to floor it.

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      1. I played with and against guys that respected the game and practiced fundamentals. It’s how they were taught. Today’s players do things differently. They may have anticipated the overthrow and backed up bases growing up but by the time they get to the bigs they just don’t do it. Maybe overthrows happen so infrequently at this level they feel it’s a waste of energy to run all the way in for nothing. Sure looks bad when they don’t. To me that laziness is the same as not running out ground balls and starting your home run trot prematurely. But then, I could bunt, steal bases and hit behind runners. Maybe practicing fundamentals is like reading newspapers. Only old guys do it.

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