May 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal (12) against the Seattle Mariners at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball: Can Padres' Yasmani Grandal reach potential in 2014?


One of the intriguing options on Bud Black‘s San Diego Padres is catcher Yasmani Grandal.

June 20, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal (12) rounds third base and scores during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Between a PED suspension and a torn ACL, fantasy owners really don’t know what to expect from Grandal, who was once viewed as a highly though of prospect.

While it was once thought that Grandal wouldn’t be ready for Opening Day this season, there is a chance that he miraculously could be behind the plate when the Padres open up the season.

Black appears to be coming around to the possibility of Grandal returning in time for the regular season. Grandal has accelerated his recovery from a knee injury that all but wiped out 2013 for him.

“Watching him (Wednesday) doing some agility drills on the field, we’re really encouraged about how he’s moving and what he’s doing on the field,” Black told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “You talk to the doctors, you talk to the therapists, you talk to the strength guys, they are really – I don’t want to say amazed – but they are extremely happy with his progression.”

There’s also news that Grandal has drastically altered his stance, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Grandal said the aim of his new stance was to take some pressure of his surgically repaired knee. He’s replaced a leg kick with a toe tap, and lowered his hands. The changes have been encouraging thus far, according to Grandal.

Can this be the year that Grandal finally realizes his potential?

Prediction: Grandal is coming off a year in which he hit only .216/.352/.341 in 88 at-bats in the majors. It’s hard to get a read on that.

Between the PED suspension and an ACL tear, there is a lot of mystery involving what Grandal can bring to the table now. He still offered an excellent LD rate (24.3%) after returning in 2013, and he’s always been a very patient hitter that makes solid contact.

I would expect much of the same, perhaps just a bit less power.

I project a .285 AVG/7 HR and 35 RBI this year for Grandal. Those numbers could increase slightly with more at bats. Nick Hundley is considered the starter on the team depth chart, but Grandal would likely unseat him for that role if he proves himself healthy.

Grandal’s ADP right now is 357.7 and I just have him barely in my Top 30 catchers right now.

I feel that is about right and he’s a guy you should look at late in deep leagues. The catcher position is always a mystery and I don’t like to normally reach for catchers early. What you want from your No. 2 catcher is a guy who won’t hurt you. That’s the case with Grandal as he is more than likely going to hit for a high average and drive in a few runs.

If he happens to prove himself healthy and ends up getting a bulk of the workload, I wouldn’t expect anything major out of Grandal, but he could surprise you and should be worthy of a  No. 2 catching option in deep leagues.

 

Tags: Fantasy Baseball San Diego Padres Yasmani Grandal

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