Last week, Dodgers pitching prospect Josiah Gray was kind enough to spend some time with us to talk about his hopes for the 2020 season. Moreover, he also shared some insider information about what’s going on at that alternate site of 60-man roster pool players.
But a real highlight was his insight on what changed for him in terms of the organizational direction as he went from the Cincinnati Reds to Los Angeles.
Dodgers Pitching Prospect Josiah Gray Gives the Inside Scoop about the USC Alternate Site, & More!
Of course, Gray was part of the deal that sent Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to Cincinnati after the 2018 season. The 22-year-old was the 72nd overall pick in the draft earlier that year but wasn’t an overly well-known commodity amongst baseball circles.
He made only 12 rookie ball appearances with the Reds before coming to the Dodgers. With LA, he saw an immediate difference from the top down.
We’ve known the Dodgers are sort of a forward-thinking organization that is willing to do whatever they need to do to make every player better … So coming over here, compared to Cincinnati… I was blessed to be drafted by them, but I think over there it was really no direction for me … they didn’t really know what to do just yet.
While Gray did fine in his short work with Cincy in his pro debut (2.92 ERA over 12 starts), things progressed quickly for him once he hit the LA farm system. The Dodgers took an aggressive approach with the righty as they moved him up through three levels in 2019. Importantly, he responded well totaling a 2.28 ERA in 130 innings across the three stops.
That success can be attributed to day one at Camelback Ranch, something that likely wouldn’t have been the same with the Reds.
Getting over here for my first spring training definitely helped me out — learning what kind of pitcher I am. I learned how to use my pitches… ‘this is why I do this’ and seeing the way I release the ball. The certain small things that the Dodgers organization has helped me with that I don’t think Cincinnati was doing to the finer points when I was drafted … that was the vast difference I saw.
Jojo is another high-quality arm pounding on the door to the big leagues. Thankfully he’s doing that with the Dodgers.
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