Anthony Ray enters his first year with the Grizzlies and sixth as a professional in 2019.
Ray, 24, played his first season of independent baseball last season with Road Warriors of the Atlantic League. He hit .250 (third-best on the team) in 80 games with 15 steals on 18 tries.
The Road Warriors featured nine players with MLB service time, but went 29-97 — 126 games, all on the road. The Road Warriors are owned and operated by the Atlantic League and play as an on-and-off traveling team when the league has an odd number of teams. The team played from 1998-2004, then again in 2006, 2007, 2011, and 2018. The 2004 edition finished 23-103, the worst record in the Atlantic League’s history. The Road Warriors’ best season was a 43-83 record in 2007.
A 36th-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2013 MLB Draft out of St. Rita High School in Chicago, Ray spent four seasons in the Redbirds’ system: one with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Cardinals, two with the Rookie-level Johnson City (Tenn.) Cardinals, and one with the Short Season-A State College (Pa.) Spikes. Ray played with current Cardinals closer Jordan Hicks in State College, current St. Louis shortstop Paul DeJong in Johnson City, and myriad future major leagues with the GCL Cardinals: former St. Louis outfielder Oscar Tavares, current Seattle Mariners starter Marco Gonzales, and current Washington Nationals reliever Kyle Barraclough.