2020 Dodgers Top 100 Prospects: No. 3, RHP Josiah Gray

Josiah Gray

We’re almost done with the Dodgers Top 100 Prospect countdown, and seeing as there won’t be baseball anytime soon, that may or may not be a good thing. Anyhoo, here’s No. 3, Josiah Gray. He’s really, really good.

——

Previous Entries

——

I’ve included Future Value (FV) grades and risks for the Top 50 prospects. For example, if a guy gets a “50 low,” he has a really good chance to be an average player at his position. If a guy gets a “55/High,” there’s a good chance he won’t reach that ceiling, but the potential is there. The grades are 20-80 (50 is average), and the risks are as follows:

  • Low: Players who are usually older, have debuted, are relievers and/or have higher floors than ceilings
  • Medium: Players who are a mix of younger and older, usually have higher floors
  • High: Players who are usually younger with potential, but also question marks
  • Extreme: Players who are generally younger with star potential, but a ton of question marks

This is to show what value a player might provide at the MLB level. The higher the risk, the less likely a player will reach that ceiling.

——

Editor’s Note: I am not a scout (#notascout). I am an amateur when it comes to evaluating players. I don’t claim to be a pro, I just want to pass along the information I observe/obtain to the people. Notes and comments are based on personal observation, talking to sources, reading scouting reports and watching video. For future entries in this series: All ratings in the charts below are on the standard 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is roughly average, 80 is elite and nearly unattainable and 20 is unacceptably poor. Enjoy.

Other Notes: “Role” is a realistic future role (slightly optimistic in some cases). Age is the 2020 season age for the player (June 30 is the cutoff date).

——

Rating Key

80 — Elite
75 — Borderline Elite
70 — Plus-plus
60-65 — Plus
55 — Above-average
50 — Average
45 — Fringe-average
40 — Below-average
30-35 — Poor
20-25 — Very Poor

3. Josiah Gray

DOB: 12/21/97Age: 22Height: 6’1Weight: 190Bats: RightThrows: RightPosition: RHP

Acquired: 2nd round competitive balance (No. 72 overall) of 2018 MLB Draft, Le Moyne College, $772,500 signing bonus; trade with Reds December 2018

Physical description: Great athleticism, slightly undersized SP frame

Strengths: Uptick in fastball velo, swing-and-miss slider, great makeup

Weaknesses: Slight frame raises durability questions, changeup lagging behind slider

Key statistics: 2.28 ERA, 2.25 (A)/2.58 (A+)/2.43 (AA) FIP, 28.5 K%, 6.0 BB%

Role: No. 2/3 SP

Player Comparison: Marcus Stroman (his words, not mine)

Summary: The main prize of last winter’s Kyle Farmer trade, Gray took a big step forward in his first year with the Dodgers’ organization. He pitched at three separate levels of the minors and dominated at every one of them. His best showing was showing came with Rancho Cucamonga where he had a 25.1 K-BB%, held California League hitters to a .207 batting average against and allowed just three home runs in 67 1/3 innings of work. He doesn’t have a lot of mileage on his arm (182 1/3 IP in the minors, 133 1/3 in college) and even at age 22, he doesn’t have the normal wear and tear that a normal 22-year-old would have. Still, he was able to throw a career-best 130 innings in 2019.

Gray has seen his fastball improve a bit since the beginning of last season. He now sits in the 92-95 MPH range and touches 97 with it. He gets riding life on it and is able to maintain velo throughout his starts. It profiles so well because he pounds the strike zone with it and commands it better than any of his other pitches. His best offspeed pitch is a mid-80s slider with good tilt and depth. It profiles as a swing-and-miss pitch at the next level. He also has a mid-to-high-80s changeup that’s improving, but still needs some work, especially when it comes to velo separation with his fastball. It does feature nice dive when he throws it right and you could see it being an average offering at some point. Gray recently added a curveball to his repertoire, but it may or may not be something he keeps if it can’t be a usable pitch.

Because Gray was a 2-way player in college (a shortstop), he’s able to use his athleticism on the mound to repeat his delivery well. It’s clean and gives him a chance at plus-command with all his pitches, as he delivers them from a high three-quarters arm slot. He is lauded for his makeup — on- and off-the-mound.

While he doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until December, there’s a decent chance he makes his MLB debut at some point during the 2020 season (provided it’s played or not terribly delayed). He only logged 39 1/3 innings in Double-A, he should be ready to tackle Triple-A, and maybe Los Angeles later on. He has No. 2 starter upside.

Video

Video courtesy of MLB.

Video courtesy of 2080 Baseball.

ToolPresentFuture
Fastball6060
Curveball3545
Slider5560
Changeup4050
Command/Control5060
Delivery5055
FV/Risk60Medium

2019 Ranking: 11
2020 Location: Triple-A Oklahoma City/Los Angeles
ETA: 2021

Next Up: Prospect No. 2

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.