Dodgers News: ESPN’s Buster Olney Ranks Yasmani Grandal 8th-Best Catcher
Dodgers News: Espn’s Buster Olney Ranks Yasmani Grandal 8th-best Catcher
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t take long for Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to begin overhauling the roster last year.

In two December trades, starters Dee Gordon, Dan Haren and Matt Kemp were traded; with Kemp remaining in the division.

The Dodgers’ most notable return in their trade with the San Diego Padres was catcher Yasmani Grandal.

Grandal arrived with some questions marks — PED suspension to his name, torn ACL in 2013, and most of the Padres pitching staff preferring to work with Rene Rivera in 2014.

However, Grandal also presented plenty of upside as a switch-hitting catcher with superior framing skills. He went on to have a strong first half of the 2015 season with the Dodgers, then saw a considerable drop off due to a nagging left-shoulder injury.

In the finale of his positional rankings, ESPN’s Buster Olney has Grandal as the eight-best catcher in Major League Baseball:

The best of the Dodgers’ trades last winter was the deal they made for Grandal, eating a lot of Matt Kemp’s contract in moving him to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Grandal in a five-player trade. After a strong first half, Grandal hit just .162, with a .498 OPS, in the second half, but he maintained his reputation as one of the best at presenting pitches to umpires: He ranked third among all catchers in this skill, according to

Grandal hit .282/.401/.526 with 14 home runs, 36 RBIs, a .399 wOBA and 159 wRC+ over 69 games (61 starts) in the first half. At the All-Star break he led all catchers in on-base percentage, on-base plus slugging percentage (.927), and was second in home runs.

Grandal managed to bat a lowly .162/.280/.218 with two home runs and 11 RBIs, and saw his wOBA and wRC+ drop to .237 and 49, respectively, in the second half. He went through an 0-for-36 stretch at the end of August and into September.

Now 27, Grandal finished the year batting .234/.353/.403 with a .335 wOBA and 115 wRC+. He clubbed 16 home runs and collected 47 RBIs over 115 games played.

The Dodgers’ starting catcher underwent offseason shoulder surgery on the AC joint in his left shoulder and is expected to make a full recovery by Spring Training.

Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants was ranked by Olney as the top catcher, followed by St. Louis Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina. Salvador Perez of the World Series champion Kansas City Royals was ranked fifth.

Grandal was listed ahead of New York Yankees’ catcher Brian McCann, while Devin Mesoraco of the Cincinatti Reds rounded out the top 10.