The Great Lakes Loons, the low-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, have kicked off their season with an exciting young roster headlined by right-handed pitcher Josiah Gray. What makes Gray so exciting is the combination of command and velocity Gray features with his pitches.
Currently using a mix of a fastball, slider, and changeup in his repertoire, Gray really likes the way all of his pitches complement each other.
“I work off my fastball with the slider and changeup,” explained Gray. “I keep the pitches low in the zone to keep the hitters off their timing, and I go from there.”
And his approach to pitching has fared nicely in his two outings so far this season. Currently sporting a 0.41 WHIP, and an opponent batting average of just .067 has been a great way to kick off his first full professional season.
It’s also been a great way to impress his new organization, as he was a key piece of the Yasiel Puig–Matt Kemp trade with the Cincinnati Reds. Gray described the news of the trade as a surreal moment, as he was just drafted last year.
“It’s surreal to have that explained to you so quickly after being drafted,” said Gray. “But I’m honored to be involved in a trade involving those guys. I think it showed me that the Dodgers have a lot of interest in me, and that they see a future in me and I’m really grateful for that. And I’m really ready to build and grow with the Dodgers.”
Continuing to grow in a professional rotation is one of Gray’s earliest adjustments in the Dodgers system. “It’s not too different from college, it’s every fifth day,” said Gray. “The recovery afterwards is the biggest difference. If you’re not recovering well, you’ll be off on your next start.”
Another component to adjusting from college to pro ball Gray has noticed is the importance of locating his pitches better. “There’s a big talent difference coming into pro ball,” explained Gray. “Guys are more diligent in the box, as they’re looking for certain things. If you make a mistake, they’re probably going to hit it pretty hard, and guys can hit velo. Guys here can turnaround a mid-90’s fastball, as they’re tinkering with their game every day, so you have to be ready every outing.”
And being ready for every outing is something Josiah Gray will continue to strive for as a member of the Dodgers system for years to come.