Monday, February 23, 2015

Let's Have A Grandal Ol' Time

I'm not calling Yasmani Grandal some kind of monster. But Jim Bowden says he's one of 12 pitchers and catchers to watch in 2015 (all others are, by elimination, simply unwatchable). (link insider only)

6. Yasmani Grandal, C, Los Angeles Dodgers (development)

The Dodgers' front office made one of the more unpopular trades in recent club history this offseason when it dealt Matt Kemp, Tim Federowicz and approximately $30 million to the Padres for Grandal and two other young players. Grandal, the 12th overall pick in the 2010 draft by the Reds who was traded to the Padres in a blockbuster deal that included Mat Latos going to the Reds, got off to a fast start with the Padres in 2012, hitting .297/.394/.469 with eight home runs in only 60 games. However, a positive PED test that November got him suspended, and 28 games after returning in 2013, he suffered a knee injury on a play at the plate and was done for the season. He dealt with more knee issues last season but still managed to hit 15 home runs, albeit with just a .225 average, in 128 games.

The potential is still there; now the only question is whether he'll reach it. Being the key piece in a trade of Kemp brings high expectations, and in addition to that, he'll have to fight for playing time with one of the game's best defensive catchers in A.J. Ellis.

Knee injury is one thing. I hope he doesn't have his arm ripped off.