Jul 19, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcherYasmani Grandal
(8) fields a ground ball as starting pitcherTyson Ross
(38) runs to cover first during the first inning against the New York Mets at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
#4. Yasmani Grandal-Career: .255/.350/.412, 24 HR; 2014: .225/.307/.401, 15 HR
With Rene Rivera starting to steal reps at catcher in 2014, and Austin Hedges coming up the pipeline, Yasmani Grandal’s future with the Padres looks bleak. He was tabbed as the future catcher in San Diego when he was acquired for Mat Latos in 2012 and now he might be in limbo.
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2014 was Grandal’s first full season in the majors after injuries and a PED suspension forced him too miss large chunks of time. The injuries that Grandal was suffering from, were knee injuries and forced him out of the crouch, and out to the field, so that he could remain in the Padres lineup. This got him to first base and helped him become a competent first baseman. What these injuries also could have done is hurt his offensive production. Labeled as an offensive catcher, Grandal didn’t live up to the name. He was in the middle of the pack in most offensive stats among catchers with over 400 plate appearances.
It’s way too early to give up on Grandal with the potential he brings, but with the forthcoming logjam behind the plate a move to first might be the only option. While 2015 won’t be the year that logjam comes, it might be in the team’s best interest to make the switch now to help him learn the position.