Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em: Does Randal Grichuk Warrant Our Attention In 2019?

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If Randal Grichuk was a perfect option, or even more of a complete player, his price would be more expensive than his current NFBC ADP of 257. Then again his price is part of the outfielder’s appeal entering the 2019 season.

Other than a knee injury and rough start to the season (.435 OPS
in April ), it was a productive season. As long as you keep your expectations in line, and don’t expect much in the way of batting average, we should expect at least a similar effort in 2019.

Let’s start with the attention grabber: Grichuk will hit 30 HR in 2019.

He hit 25 HR in 424 AB last season, it isn’t that far-fetched. Just note that he isn’t a perfect option, and there are some warts.

The low hanging fruit is the batting average, as Grichuk hit .245 last season. With a 71% contact rate we can’t expect him to hit much higher than .250 moving forward, but that is also priced into his ADP. It is also slightly concerning to see his hard contact rate drop from above average to just below average last season. While it is not a liability, it is something to consider and keep an eye on.

What we are here for is the power, and there is less concern as his metrics do hold up as elite. If you need some evidence to make your case, we don’t need to look much further than some of his Statcast metrics per Baseball Savant:

  • 14.4% Barrel Rate compared to a league average of 6.1%
  • 18.5 degree Launch Angle, an improvement from 16.3 degrees in 2017 and compared to a league average of 10.9 degrees
  • 90.6 miles per hour Exit Velocity, an improvement from 89.1 miles per hour in 2017 and compared to a league average of 87.4 miles per hour

Based on those data points Grichuk took some steps forward last season and he possesses a clear skill set. As you look to fill out the back of your outfield there is a lot to like at his present price point.

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