Deivi Grullon was selected the Readers’ Poll 24th prospect. He received 61 of 331 votes (19% our lowest plurality so far). He finished comfortably ahead of Darnell Sweeney (51 votes, 16%). It looks like Sweeney and Alberto Tirado will be the favorites in the next poll with Victor Arano close behind. Tom Windle is the only player to receive votes in every poll. However he is also suffering the biggest drop, from 9th in last year’s poll to “still falling”.
The Phillies signed Grullon as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic for $575K on June 20, 2013. He was considered one of the top Latin American catching prospects at the time of his signing.
Grullon’s body type reminded scouts of Phillies’ current backstop Carlos Ruiz. Grullon possesses the classic catcher’s build with a thick trunk and thighs. He is quick behind the plate and has a reputation as an exceptional blocker with exceptional arm strength. His offense has been the soft spot in his development.
Grullon posted a .273 in his first season in the GCL but has struggled since. He batted .227 across 3 levels in 2014 and .221 in a full season at Lakewood in 2015 (but with 8 HR).
Grullon threw out a 28% of base stealers through 2013-14, and had a bump up to 32% in 2015. He committed 13 errors last season and had a .982 Fld%.
Grullon has been a trendy pick on prospect lists the past year or so. He was 11th on your poll last year. Six of the guys ahead of him in the 2015 poll either graduated (Nola, Franco), left the organization (Mecias, Dugan, Biddle), or haven’t made this year’s poll yet (Windle). But instead of moving up, Grullon saw a bunch of guys from other organizations placed ahead of him (Williams, Thompson, Appel, Alfaro, Goeddel, Cordero, Eshelman, Pivetta, Ortiz), another handful pass him (Kilome, Knapp, Hoskins, Pinto, Cozens, Tocci), a couple of draft picks get placed in front of him (Randolph, Kingery) and a couple of unranked guys shoot up the poll ahead of him (Canelo, Medina).
I don’t mean the above paragraph to be an indictment of Grullon. His defenders will point out the age differential he faced in 2014-15. This year’s ranking is probably a little low as all the shiny new toys are placed in the rankings. But, it’s likely that Grullon was over-valued in previous years.
So, what do you do with him this year? Send him to Clearwater where he is likely to fail at the plate again and make age-diff excuses this time next year or let him gain some confidence with a half-season of at bats in Lakewood? He has Knapp and Alfaro ahead of him, but doesn’t need Rule 5 protection until after the 2017.
In addition to Grullon’s season stats, I looked at his splits. I found this curious reverse bell curve of his monthly batting average and don’t know what to make of it (April thru August) – .297, .193, .098, .186, .301. (His AB each month was 64, 88, 61, 70, 83). Odd isn’t it?
Top 30 so far:
- N. Williams
- “C” Randolph
Somehow I overlooked adding Zach Green after stating I had added him to satisfy the remaining reasonable requests I had received. I have added his name here.
Next up is your selection for #25.