For this series, I looked at Yasmani Grandal from June 29-July 2 as the Carolina Mudcats took on the Tennessee Smokies. Grandal went 3-12 with a double, HR and 4 strikeouts during the games covered. Here is how he fared, pitch by pitch in the series:

Pitch Type Location Result
Stance Notes
1 Change Up Middle Middle Takes Called Strike RH
2 Breaking Ball Low middle Takes Ball RH
3 Fastball Outside Middle Swings Foul Ball RH
4 Breaking Ball Low middle Swings Swinging Strike RH
5 Breaking Ball Middle Middle Takes Called Strike RH
6 Fastball Outside Middle Takes Ball RH
7 Change Up Outside Middle Takes Called Strike RH
8 Breaking Ball Outside Middle Swings Foul Ball RH
9 Breaking Ball Outside Low Swings Groundout 3B RH
10 Fastball Outside Middle Takes Called Strike RH
11 Fastball Outside Middle Takes Called Strike RH
12 Fastball Inside Middle Takes Ball RH
13 Breaking Ball Outside low Takes Ball RH
14 Fastball Outside Low Swings Foul Ball RH
15 Fastball Outside Low Swings Double off the wall in RCF RH
16 Fastball Outside Low Takes Ball LH
17 Fastball High Outside Takes Ball LH
18 Breaking Ball Low inside Takes Ball LH
19 Fastball Middle Outside Takes Called Strike LH
20 Fastball Middle Middle Swings Swinging Strike LH
21 Fastball Middle Outside Swings Foul Ball LH
22 Fastball Middle Inside Swings Groundout 2B LH
23 Fastball Middle Outside Swings Long foul ball LH
24 Breaking Ball Inside Middle Takes Called Strike LH
25 Breaking Ball Inside Low Swings Swinging Strike LH
26 Breaking Ball Outside Middle Swings Long foul ball LH
27 Camera Missed Swings GB Single to LF LH
28 Breaking Ball Ouside High Takes Ball LH
29 Fastball Outside Low Takes Ball LH
30 Fastball Inside Low Swings HR to Right Center LH 25 feet beyond the wall
31 Fastball Outside Low Swings Groundout SS RH
32 Fastball Middle low Swings Groundout SS RH
33 Fastball Way Outside Takes Ball LH
34 Breaking Ball Outside High Takes Ball LH
35 Fastball Outside Low Takes Called Strike LH
36 Breaking Ball Outside Middle Takes Ball LH
37 Fastball Outside Middle Swings Pop Foul to C LH
38 Change Up Inside Low Swings Swinging Strike LH
39 Breaking Ball Middle Low Takes Called Strike LH
40 Change Up Outside Low Swings Swinging Strike LH

Breakdown of the plate approach

Grandal took 21 pitches in the series, 12 were balls and 9 were called strikes. He swung at the ball 21 times in the series. The ball was put in play 8 times, fouled off 6 times and he missed 5 times. Two of the foul balls were hammered down the lines and his HR was a blast.

It is tough to say that there is a weakness to a certain pitch when he only saw 40 pitches in the series, but he did struggle against the change up in this one. It was only a total of four pitches, so you can’t really take much from it at all. Toss in the fact that he hits from both sides of the plate and he may have weaknesses from each side and it gets even more difficult to figure out in a small sample size. But, nothing really stood out as a glaring weakness as a pitch he can’t handle.

My overall impression was that he has some good pop in his bat when he barrels that ball up. As noted, his HR was pretty long and he did crush two foul balls. He looked pretty solid from both sides of the plate and I can see where scouts suggest he has more raw power from the left side than the right side. I think he still needs to work on his gameplan to approach each plate appearance, but that is to be expected at his age, especially at the level he is at compared to his age. He is patient to a fault at times, but was also very aggressive early in the count a few times on pitchers pitches.

I will be honest, I didn’t watch every inning that he caught in the games, but I did watch some of them. Defensively, he seems fine to me. His arm was solid and on target with an average to slightly above average pop time. Seems to have good movements behind the plate and the catching seemed good.

18 Responses

  1. Randy in Chatt

    Hey Doug,

    Just for fun, on a 60-80 scale could you compare (from what you have observed) on Mesoraco vs. Grandal on these items on defense:

    throwing arm
    blocking balls in the dirt
    pop times
    calling a game
    blocking the plate
    receiving skills
    captain/leader on the defense
    pitcher/catcher rapport

    • Doug Gray

      Scouting scale is 20-80, with 50 being MLB average.

      Arm/pop time: Mesoraco is a 60-70. Grandal is a 50-60.
      Blocking: Mesoraco is probably a 50. Honestly haven’t seen enough of Grandal to give a grade. Three games simply isn’t enough.
      Calling a game: Can’t really say on either count. Without having the scouting reports on each guy at the plate that they have, I can’t say whether they made a good call of a pitch or not.
      Footwork: Both are pretty good IMO, 50’s at least. Granted I only saw Grandal briefly, but he seemed to have good feet back there.
      Receiving skills: Both seem just fine to me. I don’t want to put a grade on this because I don’t think I am qualified to do so. I don’t see either guy “stabbing” at anything and both seem fluid when they catch the pitch.
      Leadership: Can’t say on either really. Without being in the dugout, you can only tell so much. I haven’t seen Grandal nearly enough and Mesoraco seems to be a guy who will go out there and talk to the guys, but again, without being there you simply can’t tell enough.

  2. Randy in Chatt

    Sorry, meant 20….guess I was wishful thinking the catchers would have nothing below a 60 :)

    • Doug Gray

      Haha, that would be nice wouldn’t it? At least if it were our catcher.

    • Doug Gray

      I could get to him at some point. The only levels I can’t cover something like this for are the rookie levels and Bakersfield. The other levels will have video available to me.

  3. Kevin

    Does Grandal’s bat play up enough for him to be transitioned to 1B? If the Reds trade Alonso, and then lose Votto in 2014, would he be able to take over at first.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think it does at all. But, Mesoraco’s may.

  4. wanderinredsfan

    I was lucky enough to see Grandal probably a dozen times before he left for Carolina. IMO, Grandal is one of the most polished players I’ve ever seen coming straight from college the year before. I think he is just as polished as Leake was when he arrived.

    Yasmani has a great eye and approach at the plate, and his defense is excellent. I would be very surprised if Grandal isn’t in AAA by spring 2012. Grandal might need some help calling games, whose instruction he can best receive from Rick Sweet, but he is right on the heels of Mesoraco in skills and refinement. Personally, I can imagine a platoon of Mesoraco and Grandal by early 2013. Having two stud catchers splitting time could work out very well for both Cincy and the players’ development.

    • Doug Gray

      I will be honest, I hope we never see a platoon of those two players. If both guys have legit All Star potential behind the plate, you trade one for a kings ransom rather than waste their value on 300 PA a season.

      • DaveCT

        Can’t go wrong. Trade for a top bat or starting pitcher, or move Meso to 1B. If their bats are as good as advertised, Mesoraco’s replacement of Votto is an excellent option, with Grandahl’s bat still being plus behind the plate.

      • wanderinredsfan

        I’m not talking long-term, rather it’s a way to ease both into the drain of catching during the big-league season. I really think it takes a few seasons to get acclimated to playing full-time behind the plate. For instance, I still don’t think Hanigan has fully acclimated to full-time playing yet, or at least his body won’t allow him to produce at an acceptable level with full-time reps.

        I think it would behoove both the Reds and the players (Grandal and Mesoraco) if they are allowed the opportunity to be fresh when learning big league pitching. I think it would be much more productive than letting one player struggle to maintain through a full season. It’s why when Mesoraco does get the call, I still advocate him splitting time with Hanigan for the first season, even if Mesoraco shines.

  5. DaveCT

    Is it time to take more notice of Neftali Soto? 15 HR’s as a younger guy in AA, Phipps is getting some headlines after catching fire but Soto’s power is encouraging.

    • Doug Gray

      Yes and no. The power has been incredibly impressive, especially since he has spent some time on the DL. His plate discipline is still a bit of a concern though. He has made some progress compared to years past, but it still finds itself in that “very questionable” category.

  6. Rahul

    ESPN insider article suggests Reds should trade Yonder for J.J. Hardy even if he just comes as a rental…

    • wanderinredsfan

      J.J. Hardy ain’t putting the Reds over the top, so why bother. Sounds like a waste of talent to me.

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah, because the Reds need a shortstop….. oh wait, didn’t we just call up a shortstop? ESPN Insider often has the worst trade ideas ever.

      • doctor

        Always liked Hardy when he was at Milwaukee but dont like that trade either. If Yonder is packaged in a trade, it should be as part of a bigger deal than Hardy.