The Los Angeles Dodgers will undoubtedly use the trade and free agent market to rebuild their roster and help them make the push towards the postseason, but elite prospects like Josiah Gray are an integral part of how this roster is built.
Though Dustin May has battled injuries, promoting Julio Urias and Walker Buehler to the rotation has proven that the Dodgers are committed to both developing some of their young prospects into stars and trying to eschew signing veterans in order to give them a place in the starting lineup.
For the most part, the plan has worked.
Gray, who sits in the upper 90s and features a blistering slider, has all the tools to become a frontline starter in this league, and the latest update from Dave Roberts left the door open to Gray reaching the major leagues sooner than expected in order to help Los Angeles stave off competition in the NL West.
Roberts mentioned Gray as a pitcher that can help the Dodgers down the road.
However, Gray will need to make sure that he can return from an injury and build up his strength before he gets the call.
Josiah Gray could be the secret ingredient for the Dodgers.
Gray has a 2.40 ERA in 38 career minor league starts, striking out more than a batter per inning thanks to his devastating wipeout breaking balls and fastball with plenty of late life. Gray is suited for frontline work, though he could help LA in the bullpen this season.
Gray dominated the lower leagues, but injury has forced him to make just one start with the Triple-A team in Oklahoma City. The Dodgers could easily decide to keep him in the minor leagues until he shows that he can dominate that level to the point where they can bring him up the big league club.
However, with Trevor Bauer’s future muddled in uncertainty and the old axiom that there is never such a thing as too much pitching, Gray might be able to make his MLB debut this year. At the very least, he’ll be a lively bullpen arm that can make it so the Dodgers won’t have to sacrifice prospects in order to add another reliever.
A spot starter or a relief pitcher that can go multiple innings is quite the asset, and having one that can throw 98 miles per hour with regularity is even more valuable. It might be a year or two before Gray ends up becoming a starter full-time, but the Dodgers cans how their fans a very tantalizing glimpse at what is to come.