Player Profile: Yasmani Grandal

Back to back games with HR's, it may be time to speculate on the Yasmanian Devil

Back to back games with HR’s, it may be time to speculate on the Yasmanian Devil

It is hard to believe that I am looking at a Padre when considering an offensive boost since they are struggling to score runs. But Yasmani Grandal may quietly be showing signs of life. Virtually undrafted, even in two catcher leagues, he is playing himself into the full time catcher role coming off of suspension and a knee injury. There were signs in spring training but also concerns as to how much of the catching duties Grandal could handle. However, after hitting home runs in back to back games and making two appearances at first base, Grandal should be on fantasy owner’s radars.

Without delving into all of his minor league statistics, it should be noted what his career slash lines were:

  • Yasmani Grandal Minor League Averages: 310/408/487
  • Yasmani Grandal AAA Averages: 339/443/508

One key to Grandal maintaining his strong start will be his ability to be more patient at the plate. While his fast start has translated to more power, his average could have more room to grow. Here are some of his hitting tendencies courtesy of Fangraphs:

Yasmani Grandal

GB/FB

LD%

GB%

FB%

HR/FB%

BB%

K%

2012

1.74

16.8

52.9

30.3

17

13.7

17.3

2013

1.70

23.9

47.9

28.2

5

16.7

16.7

2014

0.91

20.8

37.7

41.5

18.2

10.7

26.2

Career

1.53

19.4

48.7

31.9

14.6

13.9

18.9

It is hard to get a feel for what Grandal will be since he has only had 351 at bats as a major leaguer. This is part of the reason he is so readily available. But with whispers of Matt Wieters injury concerns in Baltimore, Grandal may be someone who could fill in nicely if he can stay on the field. As for 2014, he seems to be trading some plate discipline for more fly balls and even though his line drive percentage has dropped, his average is still a respectable .254. Catchers often take longer to develop offensively so Grandal may just be hitting his stride. But he has to stay on the field. Here are his three seasons in the majors thus far:

Yasmani Grandal G AB R HR RBI SB AVG/OBP/SLG
2012

60

192

28

8

36

0

297/394/469

2013

28

88

13

1

9

0

216/352/341

2014

26

71

6

4

11

1

254/338/465

Career

114

351

47

12

55

1

268/372/436

Small sample size suggests that Grandal has upside as the season progresses. Again, he has to stay on the field. He does come with a risk as can be seen in the table above. But if he keeps hitting, San Diego will have to give him the majority of at bats and he could even push himself into a time share as the right handed hitting first baseman going forward. To illustrate his evolution as a possible fly ball hitter, here are his spray charts courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net from 2012 and 2014:

 2012: grandal spray chart 20122014: grandal spray chart 2014

 

What should be noted from the charts, is that Grandal is hitting far fewer ground balls at the onset of 2014. Also, here is a look at his slugging percentage zone profile showing his proficiency across all three levels of the strike zone:

grandal slugging chart

While I do not necessarily agree with his adjusted projections from Steamer and ZiPS, here are his rest of the season and updated projections by each:

Yasmani Grandal

G

R HR RBI SB

AVG/OBP/SLG

ZiPS (Rest)

71

31

7

30

0

248/342/395

ZiPS (Updated)

98

38

11

41

1

249/340/419

Steamer (Rest)

71

31

8

33

1

254/313/408

Steamer (U)

98

38

12

44

2

254/341/427

What is nice about using the computer projections, they will not over react to a hot start. It is a mistake to simply extrapolate his opening month stats to a full season as Grandal has yet to do it for a full season. However, the data does suggest that if healthy he can exceed the projections if healthy. That is a big IF. What makes a catcher like Matt Wieters so valuable is playing in a hitter’s ballpark and having the lineup support that the Orioles provide. While PetCo is not a home run hitter’s favorite home, his improved fly ball rates and opportunity make him a player to target if Wieters is lost for an extended time frame.

I am not going to suggest a huge breakout by Grandal, but I could see 12 – 14 more home runs for the rest of the season with a .260+ average. While that is not earth shattering, at a time when offensive numbers are down across baseball, Grandal is a player worth speculating on.

Greg Jewett is a staff writer for Roto Analysis and you can follow us on Twitter @RotoAnalysis and @gjewett9

Yasmani Grandal picture credit: http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Yasmani+Grandal+San+Diego+Padres+Photo+Day+skZ4Gj6Lp6Il.jpg

Statistical Credits:

Fangraphs.com

Baseball-Reference.com

BrooksBaseball.net

,

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Flirting with the Waiver Wire: Week 5 | Roto Analysis - May 11, 2014

    [...] did a profile of Grandal here, if you would like to read about him further. C.J. Cron is getting a chance with the Angels and hit [...]

Leave a Reply