Much of the discussion involving Los Angeles Dodgers pitching prospects this spring has centered around Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May, their roles and odds to make the Opening Day roster. However, on Wednesday the spotlight shifts to Josiah Gray.
The 22-year-old is scheduled to start against the L.A. Angels in his first ever Spring Training game. Gray was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft and included in their trade for Kyle Farmer, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood.
Gray dominated for Low-A Great Lakes at the outset of last season, continued his success with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and finished the year at Double-A Tulsa. The Dodgers named Gray the organization’s Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
“I’m excited to see him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said in advance of Gray making his Cactus League debut. “He cares, he’s got really good fastball command. We always talk about to be able to have stuff to miss bats in the strike zone.
“The changeup is real. Just getting him to understand how to use that slider the right way. But, man, if there’s a guy you want to bet on, he’s right there at the top of the list.”
In a combined 26 games (25 starts) last year, Gray compiled an 11-2 record with a 2.70 ERA and 147 strikeouts against just 31 walks. After earning a promotion to the Quakes, he went on to post a 7-0 record with a 2.14 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 12 California League starts.
Gray continued to thrive at the Double-A level, pitching to a 2.75 ERA in nine games (eight starts) for the Drillers.
Roberts previously said he would not wager against Gray making his MLB debut this season. It’s an approach and reality the Dodgers took with Gonsolin and May last season, allowing both prospects to start and pitch out of the bullpen. Julio Urias and Walker Buehler held the honor in seasons prior.
Gray was ranked No. 84 by Baseball America on their top 100 prospects for the 2020 season.
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