Draft talk: Yasmani Grandal
Things are getting very interesting, as they always do this time of year. I had a scout tell me today that May is always the shortest/fastest month. Too many players to see, too little time to see them.
While it’s still a bit early to really project who will go where, things are starting to shake out a little bit. Right now, it seems that there are four names that belong at the top of the list. The general consensus is that Bryce Harper will indeed go No. 1 (look for that story, along with a an overall preview, on Monday). After Harper, in no particular order, are these three:
James Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands HS, Texas
Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Ole Miss
Manny Machado, SS, Miami Brito HS, Florida
I could take a guess who might go where, but other than a hunch that perhaps Pittsburgh will take Taillon, I’m going to wait on that until my first projection. After that four, and there’s no guarantee that those will be the top 4, there’s a whole mess of names kind of bunched together.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Harper goes No. 1 and the Pirates do take Taillon next. The Orioles certainly have an interest in those other two guys can could very well take Machado. They also could go all Hobgood on us and take someone most don’t put in the top 4-5 names. Then it’s Kansas City’s turn.
Conventional wisdom might say to take an arm there and they could go Pomeranz or Deck McGuire, maybe even Chris Sale. In other words, unless Taillon drops, don’t look for the Royals to take a high school pitcher. There doesn’t look like there’s the premium bat to take, but I bet they’re doing due diligence on the advanced college hitters. That means they could potentially take, again in no real order: Zack Cox, Yasmani Grandal, Michael Choice, Bryce Brentz or Christian Colon. Like I said, still a long way to go.
Grandal is an interesting one because he’s certainly put up the numbers, but I’ve gotten mixed messages in terms of how much people like him. He is, however, the top catcher in the class and he’s going to go pretty high. Will it be Tony Sanchez high? That remains to be seen.
But the good folks at College Splits (fantastic stuff, I highly recommend it) helped me take a little closer look at Grandal’s numbers. Keep in mind he enters this weekend of play hitting .424/.551/.741. But with College Splits’ help, lets drill down a bit, shall we?
The left-handed hitting backstop has feasted off of righties to the tune of .485/.592/.897. Southpaws have been a little more challenging: .328/.488/.508. He’s hit .508/.600/.908 away from home, for whatever that’s worth. He’s a terrific hitter with two outs (.474/.610/.772) and with runners on base (.447/.600/.753).
At the University of Miami, Grandal plays in the very competitive ACC. So it’s worth noting that he seems to rise to the occasion. In out-of-conference games, the catcher has hit .366/.521/.620 in 71 at-bats. Not too shabby, until you compare it with his in-conference numbers: .471/.578/.839.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this. In the college game, as many of you know, Friday is the day when teams send their top pitcher to the mound. So every Friday, Grandal is facing an ACC ace, in effect. Well, guess what his favorite weekend day to hit is? That’s right, Friday, though his power numbers go up when he faces the No. 2 and 3 guys later in the weekend:
Interesting stuff, at least.