Series Breakdown: Yasmani Grandal Doug Gray July 11, 2011 18 Comments 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 Randy in Chatt July 11, 2011 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 footwork blocking the plate receiving skills captain/leader on the defense pitcher/catcher rapport Doug Gray July 11, 2011 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. Randy in Chatt July 11, 2011 Sorry, meant 20….guess I was wishful thinking the catchers would have nothing below a 60 :) Doug Gray July 11, 2011 Haha, that would be nice wouldn’t it? At least if it were our catcher. doctor July 11, 2011 Doug, you plan to do something similiar for Barnhart? Nice Reds seem to have 3 at least decent or better prospected at C. Bummer is one of Meso or Yas will be traded most likely. Very excited to see Meso rated #15 in mid-year Baseball America recent rating. http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/2011/07/midseason-top-50-prospects-list/ Good job as always. Doug Gray July 11, 2011 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. Kevin July 11, 2011 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 July 11, 2011 I don’t think it does at all. But, Mesoraco’s may. wanderinredsfan July 11, 2011 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 July 11, 2011 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 July 11, 2011 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 July 11, 2011 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. DaveCT July 11, 2011 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 July 12, 2011 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. Rahul July 11, 2011 ESPN insider article suggests Reds should trade Yonder for J.J. Hardy even if he just comes as a rental… wanderinredsfan July 12, 2011 J.J. Hardy ain’t putting the Reds over the top, so why bother. Sounds like a waste of talent to me. Doug Gray July 12, 2011 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 July 12, 2011 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.