Prospect Instinct 2012
Yasmani Grandal, C San Diego Padres
Height: 6’2″ Weight: 205
Yasmani Grandal was recently called up to San Diego to take the roster spot of current starting catcher, Nick Hundley, who has struggled in 2012. Grandal was originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 27th round of the 2007 draft. He went unsigned that year and went on to play baseball for the Miami Hurricanes. His successful college career improved his prospect status. In 2010 the Cincinnati Reds drafted him in the 1st round as the 12th overall pick, netting him a $2.99mm dollar deal. Coming out of college the scouting reports indicated an offense first type catcher. He projected as an average defensive catcher that struggled to throw out base runners. Offensively he exhibited power and patience, but there was some question about his pure hitting skills.
Grandal was traded to the Padres in the Mat Latos deal and is proving to be a key part to that deal. His 2011 numbers of .305 with 31 doubles and 14 HR with a solid 59/97 walk to K ratio prompted his continued inclusion in our Top 100 inside the Baseball Instinct 360°:
68°. Yasmani Grandal, C Padres, 11/8/1988 – We can look at his current production to evaluate his potential. His bat is a legitimate middle-of-the-order bat. Last year he slugged a .500 slugging percentage across 3 levels of competition with 14 hr’s and 68 rbi’s in 374 at-bats. The Padres have no one in the way for this Hurricanes product. Grandal should make his debut some time in 2012 and be an above average defender and hitter. Not easy to find catcher who can work both sides of the game and handle a pitching staff. Grandal seems to be that type of player. ETA 2012.
Update Instinct – Grandal probably won’t be a viable option for 2012, at least not for Fantasy Players, but should see some time in San Diego before taking over the pitching staff in 2013. League average player across the board.
So far it’s an on target projection, although he has out performed our expectations to date by a little. Let’s take our deeper look at the bat and glove and see what the 2012 season is telling us about the Padres backstop of the future.
Grandal made it to Triple-A for a spell in 2011 but the numbers that he is putting up in the PCL are excellent. He’s hitting .335 with 18 doubles and 6 HR. The .377 BABIP is a little high so his AVG would settle down a little in time and we shouldn’t expect a .330 type AVG in the show. But the .186 IsoP is in line with his career numbers and should be around where he settles in as a pro. That is if his home field wasn’t Petco and he wasn’t a switch hitter. Because a majority of his AB’s will come from the left side and Petco isn’t kind to LH hitters.
There isn’t much speed to talk of. But that is usually the case with most catchers. So the high walk rate will get him on base but not lead to a lot of movement. Although the 15.7% walk rate and the 15.3% K rate are elite level numbers. Even if each reverts to a major league transition he could still see a 10% walk rate and league average 20% K rate. Both would be excellent.
Bart Klett put this together in our 2011 PI and it’s still pretty spot on – His defense is getting high marks so far. Standing 6’2” and weighing 205 pounds, he has the build of a catcher. This makes him a solid receiving target. His strong frame and adequate footwork has made his receiving skills slightly above average. Additionally, he has vastly improved his “catch and throw skills” and threw out would be base stealers at a clip of 34% this last season. Scouting reports indicate that he takes the role of in-game manager very seriously and has strong on the field leadership skills. For an offense first catcher, the progress he has made defensively is quite promising. –
There isn’t a ton to add except that Grandal has continued to mature as a defender and looks like one of those back stops who will be more to his team than just their catcher. He could very move into a leadership role in time.
Grandal has been on the Instinct radar since he was at Miami. We got the chance to see him here in South Florida on a few occasions and he always impressed. His development at the professional level has put him here at a point where the “if everything goes right” outlook of a draftee, is coming into shape here in 2012. It’s with a different organization and that has led to an open spot for him to advance. He’s on target to be the player that some thought he could be.
He’s the type of switch hitter that will hit for a higher average from the left side. Which will be the majority of his at bats. But he won’t embarrass himself against right handers. He has a strong plate discipline from both sides and will supply contact ability from both as well.
The power of Grandal comes predominantly from the left side though and as I mentioned earlier, that isn’t always a best case scenario in Petco. So while he may have 15 HR type power it may be drowned out some and a line closer to .285 with a bunch of doubles and near double digit HR power is the most realistic expectation.
A plus defender with a league average bat and excellent on base skill should make for a long term solution in San Diego behind the plate. Despite the 3 year contact of Nick Hundley, Grandal has every opportunity to take his spot as the starting catcher and hold it long term. Hundley will make for an over-priced backup. There isn’t much for Grandal to prove in Triple-A and unless he struggles mightily in his first true test, I see little reason that he’ll give up the starting job any time soon.
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