The reigning World Series Champions added another weapon to their arsenal after calling up their number one pitching prospect, Josiah Gray.
Good morning to everyone, but especially to #Dodgers top pitching prospect Josiah Gray, who will make his MLB debut tonight.
It's Jojo Gray szn y'all! 🔥
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) July 20, 2021
The Dodgers added Gray to their Taxi Squad ahead of their crucial series against the first-place Giants this week. Manager Dave Roberts told mlbbro.com he would be activated before Tuesday night’s game, but since he recently made a start for their Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City, the team will likely use an Opener and let Gray work most of his innings out of the bullpen.
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) July 20, 2021
Gray wasn’t on the radar for most scouts while he attended New Rochelle High School in New York. He committed to LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York as a two-way player; being the king of the infield at shortstop and controlling the game as a pitcher in 2014.
“The athleticism that made Gray a shortstop translates well to pitching,” said scouts. “He repeats his delivery well and shows the ability to harness his electric fastball and slider.”
Before his junior season, Gray decided to begin pitching full-time. In 13 starts that season he posted an 11-0 record and a 1.25 ERA.
The Cincinnati Reds selected him in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft, but he was traded to the Dodgers that same year on his 21st birthday in a deal that sent MLBbro Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig to Cincy.
Scouts are extremely high on Gray’s fastball which can reach up to 97 MPH and “seems to explode at the plate with riding and rising life.” He also has worked to sharpen both his slider and an upper 70’s curveball while at the team’s alternate training site this season.
During the 2019 season, he dominated at each of his three stops in the Dodgers organization on the way to being named their Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He had a 2.70 ERA with 147 strikeouts in 130 innings and an 11-2 record through 25 starts.
Gray had his 2020 campaign lost after the minor league season was canceled due to Covid.
This season Gray has appeared in four games for the Dodgers Triple-A team, the Oklahoma City Dodgers. He is 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA, 22 Strikeouts, two walks all while holding opponents to a .145 batting average.
It’s been a great week for him, as he collected his first career hit last Thursday on an RBI hit to left.
Josiah Gray, first professional hit and RBI, you can see him call for the ball at the end! pic.twitter.com/JRFmQMtGPq
— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) July 16, 2021
Gray will have every opportunity to earn a prominent role on the Dodger pitching staff whether it be as a starter or out of the bullpen. One thing is for certain, he’ll be pitching under the spotlight and with the eyes of baseball on him as he has entered one of the most competitive division races we have seen.