Barry Larkin, Joey Votto, and Johnny Cueto are all widely considered to be some of the best players in recent memory of the Cincinnati Reds organization.
After hearing his name called with the 72nd pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, the possibilities for Josiah Gray are endless, meaning there’s a chance his name could be said in the same breath as the elite in Reds history.
“Surreal, to work so hard for something like that to happen and you know it never really sets in,” said the New Rochelle, New York native. “Once you hear your name called it is just like wow, but honestly it is a surreal feeling and I am extremely excited to join the Reds organization. “
Perhaps the only people more enamored by the moment than Gray were his family. In a moment that he says can’t really be put into words, the Gray family could be found jumping up and down and in shock, as the moment had finally happened, it was no longer a dream but a reality.
— MLB Draft (@MLBDraft) June 5, 2018
The 19-year-old describes his contact with the Reds as minimal prior to the draft though he acknowledges that the only contact that matters is draft day contact. This contact that set the stage for the hard-throwing right-hander to begin his career.
Confidence will certainly not be lacking for Gray as he puts on that Reds uniform. “When I come to the park I can only assure a few things, I’ll throw strikes, I’ll be confident, I’ll be competitive,” said Gray. “Those are the three things I’ll assure.”
The hard-throwing Le Moyne alumni thinks of himself as not only a strike-throwing power pitcher, but more importantly, a winner when he takes the mound. The two-pitch starter relies heavily on his fastball and slider, though is excited to develop the rest of his pitches as his career progresses towards his goal of being an ace. Development is something the newest Red is excited about. He can’t wait to work with Reds player development as they work together to turn him into the best player he can be.
Development and growing pains have been a welcomed friend for Gray as he recalls his transition from high school to college. It was in college where he first truly learned about failure, something that made him never give up and stick to the path he has forged.
“It really made me sit down with myself and tell myself this is what actual failure is, you have to just never give up and follow the path I was on in my career,” Gray said. “You have to always spark that change within yourself even though you see yourself failing, that is what will propel you to being the best baseball player you can be.”
Gray first learned about what type of baseball player he could really be at his hometown of New Rochelle from his collegiate play of Le Moyne. The community of just fewer than 80,000 people holds a special meaning for the 2018 MLB draftee, a chip on his solider to represent his hometown proudly.
— The RedsZone (@RedLegsZone) June 6, 2018
“Even though I come from a small school, it’s not a throwaway pick,” he confidently said. “That small school mantra will always follow me my whole career, when I am on the mound you’ll never know it though.”
While it is the Reds who are taking a chance and believing in Gray as a pitcher currently, it has always been his family that has been by his side believing in him as a person. They have been his biggest supporters throughout his entire journey, instilling in him to not only be a better baseball player each and every day but more importantly a better person every opportunity he gets.
To everyone that reached out and those that kept me in their thoughts and prayers, I couldn’t have done It without you. This is a dream come true and I’m truly blessed to be able to pursue a childhood goal. But I’m never satisfied and this is only step #1!!!
— Josiah Gray (@Jgrayy_) June 5, 2018
For the Reds minor leaguer, his talent is only matched by his work ethic. With his career only just beginning, Gray is thankful for the Reds and those who have been with him up to this point in his career. Perhaps the only people that aren’t grateful for Gray’s good fortunes are the hitters that will have to face him for years to come.