Josiah Gray entered the season as the top pitching prospect in the Dodgers’ farm system. He made his big-league debut for LA in July and appeared in two games. His time there turned out to be short-lived, as Gray was traded to the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline along with Keibert Ruiz and two other prospects for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner.
Gray has some prior experience to being traded. He was acquired from the Reds in 2018 in exchange for Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Kyle Farmer and Alex Wood. When Gray came over, he wasn’t a consensus Top 100 prospect like he was to begin the season. Many prospect experts viewed Gray as one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball.
He began the season in AAA with Oklahoma City. Gray missed time with an injury, appearing in only four games. In 15 2⁄3 innings, he posted a 2.87 ERA and 0.64 WHIP. He had 22 strikeouts compared to only two walks.
With the Dodgers’ rotation taking a number of hits early on in the season, Gray was expected to make his debut for LA sooner rather than later. LA’s No. 1 pitching prospect was called up on July 20 and came out of the bullpen against the Giants. Gray struck out seven over four innings of work, but he allowed four runs, largely due to three home runs.
He made his first career start on July 25, allowing two runs in four innings. He did allow a home run, but he was able to limit the damage to only two runs. For the game he had six strikeouts, but did issue four free passes.
Not the best two-game stretch to begin a career, but he definitely showed promising signs of being a really good starting pitcher. In eight innings, Gray struck out 13.
Five days later he was traded to the Nationals as part of a blockbuster package. A little over a week after making his big-league debut, Gray was traded away.
The two prospects the Dodgers acquired from the Reds in 2018 were used in separate blockbuster deals. Gray was traded to Washington for Scherzer and Turner, while Jeter Downs was traded to the Red Sox in a package for Mookie Betts.
While wish Washington, Gray showed promises of his potential, but really got rocked around near the end. He was pretty solid during his first five starts. He posted a 2.89 ERA and had 29 strikeouts in 28 innings, including a 10-strikeout performance in only five innings against the Braves.
Over his final seven starts of the 2021 season, Gray posted a 7.27 ERA and 5.65 FIP. He allowed seven home runs in 34 innings of action and opponents had a .841 OPS against him.
Stats: 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 8.30 FIP, 1.50 WHIP, 8 IP, 13 K, 5 BB, 37.1 K%, 14.3 BB%
Game of the year
Well, with two games as a sample size this was sure difficult. It has to be his major-league debut. He did allowed four runs, including three homers. However, he did strike out seven in only four innings of action, which is impressive. Plus, it was his MLB debut!
Gray is currently with the Washington Nationals.