2021 Los Angeles Dodgers Player Ratings: Josiah Gray

Josiah Gray stepped into the 2021 season to become an important piece for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but injuries robbed him of that opportunity before being traded in the middle of the season.

Originally acquired as part of the deal that sent Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig to the Cincinnati Reds along with Alex Wood, Gray quickly rose through the Dodgers’ farming system and established himself as one of the best prospects in baseball.

On most teams, the right-handed would have been a top five starter, but since he was blocked by multiple pitchers in a stacked Dodgers roster, Gray was voted Triple-A Oklahoma City to start the 2021 season.

The then 23-year-old went to the triple A to prove his worth for the major league club.

“I’ve heard a lot of what everyone else said: ‘Just stand by, get out there and prove that you can be an asset to us in the big league.’ That’s my goal, ”said Gray last May.

“I haven’t heard much about what to do. I just know that as a pitcher you have to pitch well. This is my mentality. I’ll kind of drop the cards depending on how this year goes. I’ll just stay healthy, go out and give it my all. “

Gray made the start on opening day for Oklahoma City, putting up five innings while posting 10 strikeouts at the height of his career when he did his best to show he could help LA win.

As the Dodgers rotation injuries piled up, they planned to have Gray make his MLB debut in May, but he also began looking into his own injury.

The right-hander was scratched minutes before a second start of the season for OKC due to a right shoulder impact that forced the organization to shut him down, which eventually kept him away for two months.

Gray returned to the hill on July 4th, hitting two perfect innings, and spending the next two weeks rebuilding his arm.

On July 20, the Dodgers promoted Gray for his MLB debut as a multi-inning reliever against the National League West leading San Francisco Giants.

Gray went four innings and allowed four runs in relief. It wasn’t an ideal start to his career, but he beat seven hitters and showed off some of the skills that made him so highly regarded with the Dodgers and clubs across the league looking to recruit him.

He made his first career start against the Colorado Rockies on July 25, pitching another four innings, this time allowing only two runs while hitting six.

Five days later, Gray was traded along with Keibert Ruiz as one of the two headliners at the Washington Nationals, on a deal for superstars Trea Turner and Max Scherzer.

Gray immediately replaced Scherzer in the Nationals rotation and made 12 starts for Washington, mostly with good results. In eight of the excursion he allowed three or fewer runs, but from August 30 through September. On 17 he went on a rough four-game stretch where he allowed 22 runs in 17.1 innings.

Overall, Gray finished the season with a 5.48 ERA and 6.00 FIP, but in his starts with the Nationals he posted a 5.31 ERA, 5.71 FIP, 9.05 strikeouts per nine, 4.02 walks per nine and 0.2 WAR in 62.2 innings.

Gray’s highlight 2021

The highlight of Gray’s season with the Dodgers was his MLB debut while his family was there to see it.

While not having instant success, he showed flashes of his talent and it should be noted how highly the Dodgers rated him to trust him for four innings in a game that was indispensable at the time.

He played Gray’s best game of the year in his last start on October 2 against the Boston Red Sox. He went six innings, allowing only three hits and one run, while dropping seven on a 5-3 loss.

Outlook for 2022

In the 2022 season, Gray is almost a suspension to stay in the Nationals rotation.

The Nationals don’t have much hope this year as their rebuilding continues, so Gray should have every opportunity to overcome any fighting and continue to grow as a pitcher in the big league.

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