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

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.

 

Advertisements

Can Tony Gonsolin Limit the Powerhouse Offense of Yankees?

One day after the Yankees put 16 hits and 10 runs on the board against the Dodgers, righty starter Tony Gonsolin will take the mound for Los Angeles, posed with the task of shutting down one of the most productive offenses in baseball.

Many folks have hyped up this particular inter-league series—one that surrounds a rival which stretches back many, many years, at least in terms of the past World Series showdowns.

While many things will certainly change between now and a potential matchup at the end of October, prospective changes can occur, if indeed both teams fight their way through their respective league playoffs.

Still, this weekend’s series gives the Dodgers some idea what they need to address as far as strengths and weaknesses go. After all, most of the clubs the Dodgers have been annihilating over the past few weeks are sitting in the cellars of their divisions.

At the same time, a series like this gives Los Angeles opportunities to see what they have in terms of prospect talent. Fireballer Dustin May will get another opportunity to showcase his skills against the Padres on Monday; but, Gonsolin will take the stage on Saturday afternoon, hoping to limit a Yankees club who has tallied a monstrous 766 runs this year—more than any other team in the bigs.

The belief that Yankee Stadium is considered by everyone to be one of the friendliest hitter’s parks in baseball certainly helps pad their offensive stats. However, the fact that New York unleashed an impressive offensive attack at Chavez Ravine on Friday showed just how good they can really be.

Gonsolin doesn’t have much of an MLB track record, much less matchups criteria against specific players or even interleague games. The 25-year-old Vacaville native has only made four big league appearances—three of which were starts. But, his numbers aren’t bad in the least, aside from his MLB debut in Arizona on June 26 when he surrendered six runs—four earned—on six hits. Four of those runs came in in a first inning highlighted by an Eduardo Escobar three-run bomb.

Pulling that game out of the equation, Gonsolin has tallied a 1.29 ERA with 12 strikeous over an even 14 innings of work this year. His best performance came against the Cardinals on August 5 when he threw six innings of shutout ball, surrendering just two hits and one walk alonside seven punchouts.

For those not aware of his arsenal, Gonsolin’s four-seam has touched triple digits multiple times, but those cases occurred when he was throwing in relief. In a starting role, his heater usually settles into the 93-95 MPH range.

According to MLB Pipeline‘s scouting report, “Gonsolin’s upper-80s splitter devastates hitters with the way it dives at the plate, and his low-80s curveball has become a consistent plus offering with nice shape. He also uses a mid-80s slider to give hitters a different look.”

Maybe the most impressive stat of all is that he has walked just one batter over all of his 18.0 innings of work this year.

Saturday’s start will undoubtedly be the most important for Gonsolin to date. In theory, this appearance could be key in his audition for a spot on the postseason roster.

Needless to say, a strong outing versus the Yankees could go a long, long way in his favor.

First pitch is set for 1:05 PM Los Angeles time.

 

Is There Enough Time for Dodgers to Optimize the 2019 Bullpen?

kelly

If I had a nickel for each time we discussed the Dodgers‘ bullpen this season, I’d probably be able to payoff my 2019 mlb.tv subscription with ease.

Continue reading “Is There Enough Time for Dodgers to Optimize the 2019 Bullpen?”

How Will Rich Hill Contribute During the Stretch Run of 2019?

hill

At the rate his recovery was going more than a month ago, many pundits felt that it would be tough for veteran Rich Hill to build up his arm enough to contribute as a starter for the Dodgers during the 2019 postseason.

Continue reading “How Will Rich Hill Contribute During the Stretch Run of 2019?”

Dodgers Make Multiple Roster Adjustments Ahead of Toronto Series

ct3

Prior to the start of the series against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, the Dodgers announced that they have activated utility men Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez from the 10-day injured list while also recalling right-handed pitcher Dylan Floro from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Continue reading “Dodgers Make Multiple Roster Adjustments Ahead of Toronto Series”

Series Preview: Dodgers Welcome Blue Jays to Los Angeles

vladimir-guerrero-jr

Sitting in fourth place in the American League East with a 52-75 record, the Blue Jays set their sights on Los Angeles for a three-game, mid-week series with the Dodgers beginning on Tuesday. The occasion marks the first time the Blue Jays will have played at Chavez Ravine since June of 2007.

Continue reading “Series Preview: Dodgers Welcome Blue Jays to Los Angeles”

Dodgers Add Gonsolin, Gyorko to Active Roster

tony-gonsolin (1)

Ahead of Sunday’s season series finale against the Braves in Atlanta, the Dodgers announced that they have recalled right-handed pitcher Tony Gonsolin and activated infielder Jedd Gyorko from the 60-day injured list.

Continue reading “Dodgers Add Gonsolin, Gyorko to Active Roster”

Julio Urías Accepts 20-Game Suspension for Domestic Violence Incident

img_6331

Several hours before Saturday’s middle game against the Braves, news broke that Dodgers‘ lefty pitcher Julio Urias has accepted a 20-game suspension under Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.

Continue reading “Julio Urías Accepts 20-Game Suspension for Domestic Violence Incident”

Does Anyone Even Remember the Luxury Tax Threshold?

friedman-kasten
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

In the gloomy winter months not long after the smoke settled on the 2018 World Series, management, players and fans of the Dodgers began to re-focus their collective mental energy on yet another upcoming campaign with hopes of capturing a long-elusive championship.

Continue reading “Does Anyone Even Remember the Luxury Tax Threshold?”

Marlins Handle Dodgers in Season Series Finale

alfaro2

Thursday afternoon was a good example of what happens when the starting pitching and bullpen of the Dodgers don’t exactly fire on all cylinders.

Continue reading “Marlins Handle Dodgers in Season Series Finale”