In 2016, Josiah Gray got accepted to Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. The cool part about Gray’s story is that he didn’t start off as a full-time starting pitcher. For the first two seasons, he was going back and forth as a shortstop and pitcher. After struggling a bit as a hitter, Gray wanted to take his pitching more seriously, so he decided to play summer ball to try to develop more as a pitcher. In his first year of summer ball, he pitched 16.1 innings and had a 2.75 ERA. After his time playing summer ball, someone asked Gray how the experience there was and he said “It gave me a base ground to work from. I think that helped a lot in making me the pitcher I am today.” Fast forward to his junior year, Gray finished 11-0, 1.25 in 93.1 innings while striking out 105 hitters. This impressed a lot of people and it also gave Josiah Gray the confidence that he had something working for him and he would have a lot of success in his baseball career.
In the 2018 MLB draft, Josiah Gray, was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round 72 overall. Later that year in the offseason, he was involved in a trade that sent him to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The full trade package was Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer heading to the Cincinnati Reds and the Dodgers got Josiah Gray, Jeter Downs (who is now with the Boston Red Sox with the Betts trade) and Homer Bailey. When this trade happened, this was a big trade because Puig and Kemp were still big names at the time.
Josiah Gray’s first stop in the minor leagues system with the Dodgers was with low Class A Great Lakes, but it didn’t take very long before he was promoted to high Class A Rancho Cucamonga. That wasn’t his only promotion. With Gray’s second stop, He went 7-0, with a 2.14 ERA in 12 starts with the Quakes to earn the call to Double-A Tulsa. Gray finished the season 11-2, with a 2.28 ERA with 147 strikeouts in 130 innings between the three stops. On July 20th, Josiah got the call that he has waited his entire life for. It was the Los Angeles Dodgers calling him up to the big leagues. The next day Gray made his major league debut. He pitched 4 innings, gave up 4 earned runs and had 7 strikeouts.
On the night of July 30th, when I looked at my phone to see what the recent Jeff Passan tweet was I was hit with multiple different emotions. I was shocked, excited, sad and just a bunch of things hit me at once. All of us Nationals, well majority of Nats fans, knew Max Schezer was gone but the thought of Rizzo actually trading Trea Turner seemed unrealistic. The Passan tweet read:
BREAKING: The Los Angeles Dodgers are making significant progress on a deal that would send them star right-hander Max Scherzer and star shortstop Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals for a prospect-laden return, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 30, 2021
However, after 24 hours passed and I could take in what just happened, I was very happy about the trade. Before the trade deadline, I knew about Josiah Gray and the biggest reason I did was because I had his card in MLB The Show. When I saw he was making his major league debut I tuned in for it and saw he had a lot of potential with his fastball and nasty curveball combo. For the several starts he has made for the Nationals he has lived up to expectations. The only complaint really is the home runs given up, however that is a part of baseball and we know someone similar who is a future hall of famer who also gave up a lot of homeruns. I am excited for the future of Josiah Gray and I think he is going to be a legit guy in our rotation for the Washington Nationals.