Yasmani Grandal of the Los Angeles Dodgers was ranked the third-best catcher heading into the 2017 season by MLB Network’s The Shredder. Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants was named the No. 1 catcher by The Shredder a third straight year.
For Grandal, it marks the first time in his career he was named a top-10 player at his position in the algorithm-based rankings. “He’s been No. 1 in framing the last two years, and I think the Dodgers have really held that to a high value,” said former catcher Dave Valle of Grandal.
“The 27 home runs, this is a guy I think The Shredder is finally starting to get it right. Both on the ranking and the value of what Yasmani Grandal brings to the Dodgers.” Valle ranked Grandal fourth on his list.
The 28-year-old was ranked second by analyst Mike Petriello, third by host Brian Kenny, fourth by analyst Vince Gennaro, and seventh by Bill James.
“Perhaps I underrated Grandal,” Gennaro said. “Because I really love what he does behind the plate.”
Grandal missed the start of the 2016 season due to lingering forearm soreness from Spring Training. He endured ankle, hand and elbow injuries throughout the year, yet still managed to produce at the plate by batting .228/.339/.477 with 14 doubles, 27 home runs, 72 RBI and a 121 OPS+ in 126 games.
Grandal led all catchers in home runs, and his OPS+ was fifth-best among backstops who made a minimum of 200 plate appearances. During the 2015 season, which was Grandal’s first with the Dodgers, he hit .234/.353/.403 with 12 doubles, 16 home runs, 47 RBI, a 112 OPS+ and earned All-Star honors for the first time in his career.
That was despite suffering from a lingering shoulder injury that required offseason surgery. Since 2015, Grandal’s 119 wRC+ trails only Posey among catchers. Beyond providing the Dodgers with a switch-hitting presence at the plate, Grandal excels defensively.
Last season he had a 6.7 Baseball Prospectus Wins Above Replacement (BWARP), which is the lone WAR calculation that takes into account pitch framing. In January, Grandal was ranked the No. 4 catcher in baseball by ESPN.
Granal has enjoyed a healthy offseason, which is an improvement from year’s prior, though acknowledged some concern over his new diet and the possibility of losing too much weight during Spring Training and the regular season.
|Rank||The Shredder||Brian Kenny||Dave Valle|
|1||Buster Posey (Giants)||Buster Posey (Giants)||Buster Posey (Giants)|
|2||Jonathan Lucroy (Rangers)||Jonathan Lucroy (Rangers)||Jonathan Lucroy (Rangers)|
|3||Yasmani Grandal (Dodgers)||Yasmani Grandal (Dodgers)||Yadier Molina (Cardinals)|
|4||Wilson Ramos (Rays)||Yadier Molina (Cardinals)||Yasmani Grandal (Dodgers)|
|5||Russell Martin (Blue Jays)||Gary Sanchez (Yankees)||Wilson Ramos (Rays)|
|6||Yadier Molina (Cardinals)||Salvador Perez (Royals)||Salvador Perez (Royals)|
|7||Francisco Cervelli (Pirates)||Russell Martin (Blue Jays)||Gary Sanchez (Yankees)|
|8||J.T. Realmuto (Marlins)||Stephen Vogt (Athletics)||Brian McCann (Astros)|
|9||Salvador Perez (Royals)||J.T. Realmuto (Marlins)||Russell Martin (Blue Jays)|
|10||Welington Castillo (Orioles)||Willson Contreras (Cubs)||Willson Contreras (Cubs)|