Dodger’s backstop Yasmani Grandal is on some kind of tear like we haven’t seen in some time. The switch-hitter is now batting .293 overall and drove in another run in the Dodger’s 4-0 win over the Cubs in the series opener with a run scoring double on Friday evening. When Grandal gets hot, he gets hot and there may be no stopping him until he cools off. Sorry National League. Well actually I’m not sorry.
Over the last month (since May 1), Grandal is batting .364 (24 for 66) with 11 extra-base hits and 15 runs driven in. That’s over his last 70 plate appearances. Since April 15 Grandal is hitting .308 with 15 extra-base hits and 19 runs driven in.
Grandal has been slugging the ball for a while now. Since April 15 Grandal is hitting .323 with runners in scoring position. He’s hitting .372 at Dodger Stadium in May, .325 at Chavez Ravine this season, and he has a wRC+ of 129. As of right now with Justin Turner still on the disabled list he’s the Dodger’s best hitter and he’s batting third in the order.
While his walk% has lowered from 9.5% in the month of April, to 6.5% in the month of May his strikeout percentage has lowered from 22.6% in April to 17.1% in May. He’s been making more contact and getting on base more often. His OBP has risen from .325 in April to .400 in May. His power metrics have increased as well.
His isolated power has gone up from .189 in April to .256 in May. Grandal has raised his slugging percentage from .408 in April to .591 in May. Grandal has also been going the other way as well. On opposite field balls put in play Grandal has an average of .615 and a .769 slugging percentage when he does so.
Grandal seems to hit best when he is batting fifth in the order. He’s hitting .318 when batting in the number 5 spot in the order. Overall Grandal is batting .293 with an .856 OPS and .359 OBP. He’s blasted 5 home runs and driven in 22 runs in 154 plate appearances.
Not only is he tearing the cover off the ball, his defense is excellent as well. His pitch-framing skills are well known by now. Pitch-framing is super important because the more strikes your pitching staff gets the more outs you receive too. Grandal is one of the best pitch-framers in MLB. Last year Grandal’s pitch-framing was worth +24 runs above average according to statcast. This year he is on pace to shatter that mark with a +75 mark.
Not only that but he is throwing out runners at a record pace this season. He’s tossed out 11 of 24 runners attempting to steal in 2017. That means Grandal is throwing out base runners at a 54% clip! That is incredible. Unsurprisingly he leads all of baseball in that category.
Yasmani Grandal is not only hitting well, but he’s a terrific pitch-framer with a strong and accurate throwing arm. This year his increased contact rate has certainly helped his hitting approach. Yes I know he can be a very streaky hitter and I am sure he will go through his cold spells. However he is healthy, productive and right now is the Dodger’s best hitter. Honestly this was the best trade the front office has ever made.