With the struggles of Nick Hundley continuing, fantasy owners are left wondering when the Padres will call upon Yasmani Grandal. Let’s take a look at everything we need to know about Grandal so we are prepared for when he finally does get recalled:
- 23-years old
- Switch Hitter
- Drafted in the first round of 2010 (12th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds; selected one pick before Chris Sale
- Traded to the San Diego Padres as part of the package sending Mat Latos to Cincinnati
- Prior to the season Baseball America ranked him as the #53 prospect overall and mlb.com ranked him as the #63 overall prospect
- Through 115 AB at Triple-A (Pacific Coast League) in 2012 is hitting .322 with 4 HR, 23 RBI and 22 R
- Has shown good command of the strike zone this season, with 24 K vs. 21 BB; this should help him continue to hit for a strong average (though an inflated BABIP tells us he’s going to regress some)
- In 2011 he whiffed 97 times in 374 AB, so we need to keep a close eye on him in this regard and make sure he doesn’t regress
- He has not yet fully shown his power with 18 HR in 517 AB in minor leagues, though he has added 42 doubles
- Playing in Petco Park, he may ultimately be more of a doubles hitter with occasional power
- Prior to the 2010 season Baseball America said, “A switch-hitter, Grandal uses the whole field and has good plate discipline. He projects as a plus hitter with perhaps 20-25 homers per season”
- According to mlb.com, “A switch-hitter, Grandal was pretty consistent from both sides of the plate, even while playing at three levels in 2011. He hit .299 as a right-handed hitter and .307 hitting left-handed. He did have more power from the left side with 34 of his 45 extra-base hits coming from that side.”
- Like most catchers, he offers no speed
There’s not much to say regarding Grandal, except that it’s only a matter of time before he reaches the Major Leagues. He may not develop into a 20+ HR hitter (though the potential is there), but if he can hit .280 with 12-15 HR there is going to be a ton of value, especially for those in two-catcher formats.
With Nick Hundley and his .173 average all that is standing in Grandal’s way, it may only be a matter of time before he is recalled. The Padres have shown that they are not going to tolerate subpar play from their veterans, having already released Orlando Hudson (with the same fate potentially awaiting Jason Bartlett). While I don’t see that happening to Hundley, moving to a reserve role is extremely realistic.
Grandal is obviously the team’s future at the position. If you are in a two-catcher format, stashing him now definitely makes sense. Once he’s recalled he is going to be a must own option.