[ed. note - “With interest in the Washington Nationals’ farm system at a high level, Federal Baseball has begun a series featuring the top 30 prospects in the system as of late last season, according to Baseball America. We will start with No. 30 and work our way to the top over the next few weeks, with one prospect highlighted each weekday.”]
WASHINGTON – Of the 30 players on this list, few have had more exposure to the Major Leagues than right-hander pitcher Josiah Gray.
Gray, who turns 24 on December 21, was born in upstate New York and went to college at Le Moyne at Syracuse.
Josiah Gray, Filthy Back-to-Back Curveballs...and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/nLNYxyswug— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 25, 2021
He was drafted out of college by the Reds in the second round in 2018, then after that season was traded to the Dodgers. Gray pitched in two games last season for the 2020 world champions.
Gray was dealt again in July, as he was part of the package from the Dodgers that landed Los Angeles Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.
Once Gray joined Washington, that gave the team two pitchers in the rotation with ties to upstate New York.
The other one is lefty Patrick Corbin, who went to high school in Syracuse and a community college nearby.
Josiah Gray, Filthy 85mph Back Foot Breaking Ball...and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/tP9jarBDCZ— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 23, 2021
Gray was 2-2 with an ERA of 5.31 in 12 starts once he joined Washington.
Despite less than impressive numbers, he figures to be part of the rotation for the Nationals in 2022 since many top pitching prospects may still be a year or two away from being ready for The Show.
“If we need to make a mound visit we will, but we just want to watch him and watch what he does and how he reacts to different situations. He’s been good. He’s been really good. Like I said, he understands when to slow the game down, and we talked to him a lot about that in certain situations, things will start speeding up, just take a deep breath and start slowing everything down and he does really well with that,” manager Dave Martinez said after a start in August.
After that start, Gray told reporters he liked the challenge of working out of danger.
Josiah Gray, Nasty 85mph Slider. pic.twitter.com/f3sl0oBhal— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 2, 2021
“Obviously, whenever they feel the need they’ll come out and talk to me, give me a quick breather or quick pep talk but other than that everything has been great, and obviously the sixth inning started out great with two strikeouts, but then got into a little trouble with the double and then an infield single, so I think — I wasn’t even thinking about a mound visit at that time, I just knew that I had Breyvic Valera up, I got to get him out, keep us with the lead and do my job, so that’s all, no thoughts about a mound visit, no thoughts about anything other than getting that hitter out and keeping us with the lead in that sixth inning,” he said.