White Sox wide receiver Yasmani Grandal has such an odd hitting line, especially for someone who by advanced measurements is ranked among the top receivers in the major leagues and receives a lot of love from All-Star voters.
Fans voting for the All-Star Game were not dissuaded from checking the box by Grandal, who takes an average of 0.172, a base percentage of 0.383 and a slugging percentage of 0.401 in the Sox match “Reopening Night” against the Mariners on Friday. At last count, Grandal trailed only Salvador Perez in the votes for American League receivers despite a batting average well below the Mendoza line (0.200).
A .237 career hitter who was an All-Star with the Dodgers in 2015 and the Brewers in 2018, the slug hitter is the Sox’s third-best player by FanGraphs wins over substitution behind Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson, and just now he seems to find a rhythm in the plate.
Grandal didn’t win a Golden Glove, which is “really surprising” for major league coach Jerry Narron.
“I know this is something he would love to do,” Narron said.
Although ranked 28e in the field-framing majors, Grandal was fourth in each of the previous two seasons and has improved since returning to his normal catching position after falling to a knee following a knee injury during the match. spring training. His steal percentage of 0.241 (22 of 29) ranks third behind Martin Maldonado (0.450) and Perez (0.350) in the AL, but his five passed balls are second behind Christian Vazquez. Grandal has five errors, including three on receiver interference calls in April that Narron also relates to the one-knee position (which extends the glove further). Blocking height isn’t Grandal’s strong suit, but it’s not uncommon for good framers focused on this particular skill, Narron said.
Grandal is an ultra-selective hitter who always seems to be looking for a walk – his 54 walks are just behind Joey Gallo, with 72 fewer home plate appearances – but he’s productive and can be dangerous. He climbs on base, his hard hit rates are high, and he rarely goes out of the strike zone. Grandal has just 27 hits, including 11 home runs and three doubles and an average of one single per week.
Put it all together, though, and 127 weighted runs created plus the metric are just below Perez’s 128 among receivers.
The first phase of the all-star vote ended on Thursday and the results will be announced on Sunday. The first three at each position advance to the final phase.
Narron would consider Grandal’s intangibles if he had a vote.
“His experience with the Dodgers and Brewers playoff clubs is great for us,” said Narron.
“He’s very prepared, he has a really good idea of how to pitch guys and what our pitchers can and can’t do. He’s a very smart guy and one of the most job-focused guys I know. He wants to do well on both sides of the ball. He is very proud of the defense.
Trying to help the Sox come out of their longest losing streak of the season, Grandal hit a tight three-run homer Tuesday to give them a lead over the Pirates – who ultimately won – and netted a decisive brace of two points Wednesday in a 4-3 victory.
“It’s starting to feel better and better,” Grandal said after winning a single against the Rays last week. “I feel like every time I smoke a bullet it’s just against someone.
“I will continue to do whatever I need to do. If it’s walking and getting on the base, then I’m going to be walking and getting on the base until I get my throw to hit.
NOTE: Friday is the reopening night at the guaranteed rate field, open at full capacity for the first time since 2019, a Country Music Night theme, post-game fireworks and the Sox wearing their City Connect uniforms.
SAILORS AT SOX
Friday: Yusei Kikuchi (4-3, 3.46) vs. Carlos Rodon (6-2, 1.83), 7:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 10:00 a.m.
Saturday: Logan Gilbert (2-2, 4.50) vs. Lance Lynn (7-3, 2.14), 1:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 10:00 a.m.
Sunday: Marco Gonzales (1-4, 5.10) vs. Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 3.98), 1:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 10:00 a.m.