Tag Archives: Randal Grichuk

Whispers: Randall Grichuk And The Voices In The Shadows That Will Haunt Him

After the tragic loss of Oscar Taveras, I noticed that some bloggers turned their gaze upon Randal Grichuk, someone who was considered an elite prospect not that long ago, and immediately said (and yes, I’m paraphrasing a little) “He’s not Oscar, we’re in trouble!”

This made me wonder if the ghost of Oscar will haunt Grichuk throughout the season: If he doesn’t make a timely hit to drive in a run, someone might say emphatically “Oscar would’ve gotten that hit!” or if he misses a catch, we might hear “Oscar would’ve caught that!”

The pressure to perform at the big league level is intense, something Oscar himself felt alot of, being a home grown uber-talent.

Grichuk didn’t quite have that, as he was acquired in a trade as a throw-in, a secondary addition designed to sweeten the pot and make the trade work. The primary pressure burden of that trade lay on Peter Bourjos.

Grichuk did have a little presure, as does every high end prospect. Now, however, I fear that the ghost of Oscar will increase that pressure at least ten-fold, especially in the online community.

As I said, Grichuk was an elite prospect not that long ago, and was on the roster, battling Oscar for playing time as recently as the playoffs. Randal had earned that playing time. He did struggle some, but so had Oscar during much of the season, to the point that his manager had called him out in public, a rare tactic for Mike Matheny to use. Grichuk obviously wasn’t alone in his struggles.

Grichuk has his strengths, he’s a thumper. With development and patience, he could turn into a 25 to 30 home run hitter. He’s at least an average fielder, and can get better over time. The plate discipline and successful contact will some things to keep an eye on, but I think given time, and mentorship from the likes of Matt Carpenter and others, he’ll get better in those areas as well.

All in all, Grichuk is an above average prospect, a seperate entity from Oscar who just might succeed if we give him a chance.

As such, I have a simple request: When Randall makes an error, or strikes out or does any other negative thing, instead of saying “Oscar would’ve done that” simply say Grichuk should’ve done that.” Also, when Randal does something well, celebrate, instead of saying: “Big deal, Oscar would’ve done that too.” Small things, but I think we need to encourage the right fielder of our future, not dwell on what might have been.

As always, thanks for reading.

September Call Ups: The Outfielders Part Two

With Allen Craig gone there’s going to be a spot open for an outfielder, especially in September during the stretch run, so I thought I’d look at the three most likely candidates for that spot: Stephen Piscotty, Randall Grichuk and Tommy Pham.

Next up is Randal Grichuk, who we acquired in the David Freese trade. Grichuk has already made a cameo in the Majors and struggled, but it was a short visit (44 AB’s) so we need to beware the dreaded Small Sample Size (SSS).

Here’s what his Minor League history tells us: The man carries a boomstick. He currently has 21 homeruns in 369 AB’s at Memphis while sporting a .266 AVG, a .316 OBP and a .504 SLG. He also has 21 doubles, 2 triples and 7 SB. The SB and triples may not seem like much, but they tell me that the man is not a sloth like some sluggers are, meaning he’ll be able to get to few balls in the OF instead of being a stationary object.

The .266 BA worries me a tad, as that’s against minor leaguers. While AAA is the highest level, it’s still the minors. How is that .266 BA going to translate to the majors? Another worry is that he currently has 92 (!) K’s this year. The worst case scenario here is a boom or bust kind of guy, ala Mark Reynolds.

He also has big splits, hitting .313 against lefties while hitting just .222 against righties, though the homeruns are pretty evenly split (12 against lefties, 10 against righties.) even with that the AVG differential is alarming.

Bottom line is, if he wants to be more than a platoon masher, he’s got some work to do. Needs to cut down on the K’s and learn some more discipline (his OBP is typically .50 points higher than his BA, which isn’t bad, but could be better, especially since he’s a slugger. He needs patience.)

 

 

As always, thanks for reading.