Griff Erickson was drafted in the 15th round of the 2006 draft at the tender age of 18. He did not play any professional ball until 2007, and after two seasons (2007-2008) he had garnered less then 200 plate appearances. In 2009 the Dodgers cut the strings and gave him the full time gig on the rookie Ogden team where he rewarded them with a .860 slugging percentage. He followed that up by being terrible in his first foray into full season baseball with the Loons in 2010, posting a .619 OPS. His slugging percentage was .310. That performance got him an invite to the 2011 January Workout where it was assumed he was there because he was a catcher the real prospects could throw too, not because he himself was a prospect.
The tall catcher seemed like an afterthought when the 2011 season began but after putting up a .899 OPS in the California League and making the all-star team. Erickson was promoted to AA and surprisingly held his own, and in fact posted a decent .809 OPS. At that point Gorman Erickson had had a very exciting 2011 season and seemed to be our top offensive catching prospect passing the J.T. Wise's of the world. In my mind the offensive emergence of Erickson during the 2011 season was one of the big surprises in our system.
Erickson was selected to play in the AFL and instead of putting himself on the prospect map he did his best to make FedEx look like an offensive juggernaut as he put up a .640 OPS and impressed no one.
Why #22: What’s not to love about a big switching hitting catcher coming off his best season? Especially when he held his own during his first taste of AA as a 23 year old? The only thing keeping him out of my top 20 is the fact that he hadn’t shown much potential prior to this season, so I’m a bit worried that he’ll return to his career averages in the future.
2012 should give us a better idea of what to expect from him. Anyone can hit in the California League, what he did in AA gives us some hope, but that AFL turkey time makes one wonder.
Erickson is a switch hitter and Ned has traded every other switch hitting prospect over the last few years: Carlos Santana, Josh Bell, and Trayvon Robinson. There is a good chance Erickson is not in the Dodger organization by the end of 2012.
Erickson is not yet on the 40-man roster, but was invited to big league camp in spring training as a non-roster invitee.
|2010 (A - Great Lakes)
|2011 (A - Rancho Cucamonga)
|2011 (AA - Chattanooga)
|2012 Projections - Age 24 Season|
I expect he will spend most of the season in AA, it is possible that if he succeeds and Fed Ex does get promoted to the Dodgers Erickson could see AAA. He should be a September callup, can he throw his hat into the 2013 catching ring?