SYRACUSE -- For minor leaguers, the road to the show starts at stadiums like the ones you find in Central New York. And even though the stands at these parks have been empty due to the COVID-19 outbreak, minor league baseball players got some good news this week.
Tuesday Major League Baseball and the Players Association announced minor league players will be getting checks up to $400 through May 31st.
That pay is good news for players like former Le Moyne stand out Josiah Gray, who’s still working his way through the Los Angeles Dodgers system.
Gray cemented himself as one of the top prospects in all of baseball this past season – advancing through three minor league levels – before finishing at the AA-level in the Fall. That progression earned Gray a big league spring training invite this past February.
“Going from low-A to big league camp in a year is obviously a shock. You know it, doesn’t happen too often, but I’m glad that they presented me with that opportunity,” Grays says. “It was unbelievable to the point where you are in the clubhouse with guys like David Price, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, so yeah, I definitely picked their brains about certain things that I never even thought about. I’m so young that if I could a little bit of information from those guys that will help me.”
Since the sports world was put on hold, Gray is still working out in Arizona after L.A. deemed it too dangerous to send Gray back to his home city of New Rochelle, NY- a hot spot for the outbreak…
“(The Dodgers) essentially sent everyone home. They sent all the minor leaguers home, except for guys that were rehabbing on the 40 man roster, which the MLB mandated, (and) guys that were from higher risk areas. So being from New Rochelle, where a big outbreak was, they said ‘Hey, we’re not going to send you home. You are free to stay out here.’ So, I’m here currently out in Arizona with some guys from Latin American countries.”
Motivated form last season’s success, Gray has lofty goals for 2020. It’s a year he hopes he earns his first cup of coffee in the major leagues
“I just want to make this year as best as I can be. Wherever I start I just want to stay healthy and make it to the point where I am knocking on that door to get the call this year, and prove that to the organization. So, this year I just want to go out there and make every 5th start, continue to be confident and dominant on the mound, and kind of go from there. Just continue this story that people want to watch.”
When fans will be able to do so is still up in the air.