In 2017 at Le Moyne College Josiah Gray threw 14.1 innings out of the bullpen while playing shortstop. He would spend the summer pitching in the Cape Cod League where he threw another 14.2 innings and established himself as a prospect to follow the next year. In 2018, now a starting pitcher, Gray took control of his fate and dominated, throwing 93.1 innings with a 1.25 ERA, 20 walks, and he struck out 105 batters. That led the Cincinnati Reds to select him 72nd overall in the draft with their 2nd Round Comp B selection.
The Reds sent Josiah Gray to join their new affiliate in the Appalachian League. His first start with the Greeneville Reds saw him throw 3.0 perfect innings and strike out five batters. The next time out didn’t go as well as he allowed three earned in 3.0 innings with a walk and a strikeout. That wrapped up June since the season didn’t begin until June 19th.
July got out to a great start for Josiah Gray, and you can see that in the video above. He threw 5.0 hitless innings against Johnson City on the 3rd, allowing just one walk and striking out five batters while needing just 61 total pitches. The next time out he allowed a run over 5.2 innings with a walk and five strikeouts against Burlington. Bristol got to the right hander on the 15th, touching him up for five earned runs in 3.2 innings. The 20-year-old rebounded well in his next two starts to finish out the month. He tossed 10.2 combined innings with just one earned run and he had 12 strikeouts. For the month he posted a 2.52 ERA in 25.0 innings, allowed just 14 hits, walked seven batters, and he struck out 26.
On August 3rd, Josiah Gray would allow his only home run of the season. He allowed two earned in 4.0 innings against Johnson City to go with a walk and four strikeouts. In his next start he was charged with an unearned run in 4.0 hitless innings with three walks and seven strikeouts. On August 16th and 21st he allowed just one hit, and one run in each of his starts against Danville and Elizabethton. On the 27th his season would come to an end in his final start of the year against Princeton. He allowed one run over 3.0 innings with a walk and four strikeouts. In five August starts he posted a 2.11 ERA in 21.1 innings with just 10 hits allowed, walked nine batters, and he struck out 27 batters.
For all 2018 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Josiah Gray Scouting Report
Fastball | His best pitch right now, it works in the low-to-mid 90’s, and has touched as high as 98 MPH. The pitch has good movement, more on the vertical plane than the horizontal plane.
Slider | The slider has a chance to be Josiah Gray’s best pitch. It’s inconsistent, but when it’s at it’s best it’s a plus offering that works in the low-to-mid 80’s.
Change Up | The pitch is a bit firm, and one he doesn’t go to as often as the slider. It’s a below-average offering right now, but could be an average offering in the future.
Josiah Gray may have come out of college as a starting pitcher, but given his history, he’s probably more like a high school pitcher than a college one when it comes to his development and experience. He threw 145.1 innings this year between college and professional baseball. That’s an enormous increase from the sub 30.0 innings he threw in 2017.
The things you like with Josiah Gray are easily seen. He’s very athletic on the mound and has a fast arm. He’s capable of locating his fastball in the strikezone quite well and the pitch has some movement and velocity. The slider shows itself often as an above-average offering, too. And of course, there are the numbers. Gray dominated everywhere in 2018 – both in college and in the Appalachian League.
On the flip side there are some things to keep an eye on. While the raw abilities are there, the consistency with the secondary offerings is going to need to improve as he moves up the ladder. The change up has some scouts believing that he’ll eventually wind up in the bullpen where the fastball and slider will play up.
The improvements that have been made since becoming a full time pitcher by Josiah Gray have been impressive. That he’s already capable of dominating even the lower levels of minor league baseball says a lot about his abilities. The change up will be key to his development in the long run, but he’s got the athleticism and arm speed that you want to see from someone who is going to have to make that happen.
Interesting Stat on Josiah Gray
In five road starts he held batters to a .076/.187/.089 line over a span of 91 plate appearances. He allowed just one extra-base hit on the road – a double against Burlington on July 9th.