Today over at The Sports Fan Journal, they released their list of the top ten catchers in Major League Baseball going into the 2016 season. On that list were names you’d expect, and one that belonged to a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. So, it was a good list.
At the top of the list was Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants, which comes as literally no shock whatsoever since he’s great defensively and a great offensive catcher. After that, though, the list got interesting. Especially when you looked towards the bottom half of the top ten.
Yasmani Grandal, a trade acquisition for the Dodgers prior to last season, was listed as the 9th best catcher in the game, and this was written about him:
His eye at the plate improved last season (an increase in walks combined with a steep decline in strikeouts), which produced a career-best .353 on-base percentage. He profiles to produce plus power from behind the plate, although his switch hitting future is likely as a first baseman.
One interesting thing to note is that Grandal’s second half numbers were a major decline from his first half numbers, primarily due to a shoulder injury that he’s since had surgery to fix. With that said, 2016 could be a stellar year for the 27-year old.
Catcher is a relatively thin position after the top two or three candidates, so Grandal could see himself vaulted into the discussion of one of the best catchers in the game if he’s able to put together a fantastic 2016. Combined with his pitch framing, which put him 3rd in baseball last season, the sky is still the limit for him.
Grandal has youth, offense, and receiving skills on his side. If he’s able to stay healthy, produce over a full season, and throw out just a tad more runners, then the Dodgers could certainly have their backstop position sewn up for the future with him on board.
Although, as mentioned, Grandal shifting to first base in the future might be in the cards. And that’s just another option for the team. Either way, Grandal is getting his just praise.