Joe Gray Jr. brings confidence to the organization’s abundant outfield depth – The Athletic


PHOENIX — The outfielders shielded their eyes and tried to make catches while battling the sun. Pitchers and catchers got together before the bullpen sessions, offering introductions and sharing pitching preferences. Coaches and executives studied the action on the backcourts, smiling after hearing familiar sounds of gloves popping.

It was spring training, in a way. At least the best possible version while a lockdown is in progress. The Brewers’ first minor league camp — “reinforcement camp,” as they call it — began last week, featuring several of the organization’s top prospects.

He had learned a lot. Could a new depth position possibly create a path for a trade? What about the reliever with major league experience who is in camp after missing all of last season? What’s up with several notable minor leaguers? This episode of Brewers Briefings, which is normally reserved for weekly observations on the major league club, touches on all that and more.

1. Joe Gray Jr. is a great man. He is 6 feet 1 inch tall. He weighs 218 pounds. Muscles, power, speed – it’s all big, the kind that instantly grabs attention. He matches it all with a big Southern Hattiesburg, Miss., accent and a big personality. The most important thing about the Brewers outfield prospect is his confidence.

Otherwise, how to explain someone wandering around the Brewers complex in overalls, cowboy hat and Pokémon medallion?

So, goals for 2022? Yeah, Gray isn’t shy about sharing one.

“It’s Biloxi to me,” Gray said last week, referring to Double-A Biloxi. “Now it’s not my decision at the end of the day, but it’s up to me to make that decision difficult for them. If I do what I’m supposed to do and play like I’m supposed to play and that I show them that I am ready, then it will be a difficult decision for them.


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