Yasmani Grandal had a third consecutive productive year both at and behind the plate for the Dodgers, but a second-half fade cost him his starting spot in the postseason.
What went right
Grandal set career highs in hits (108), doubles (27), runs scored (50), plate appearances (482), games (129), starts behind the plate (113) and defensive innings at catcher (999⅓) in 2017.
His 22 home runs were the most as a catcher in the National League, and fourth in the majors. Grandal joined Todd Hundley and Hall of Famers Roy Campanella and Mike Piazza as the only Dodgers catchers with multiple 20-homer seasons.
The switch-hitting Grandal batted .250/.305/.486 from the left side, with 20 of his 22 home runs and 23 of his 27 doubles.
Grandal continued his excellence at stealing strikes, ranking fourth in the majors in catcher framing runs above average per Baseball Prospectus.
What went wrong
While Grandal was very good at framing pitches, he also tied for the major league lead with 16 passed balls to set a new career high in the process. He has averaged 11.5 passed balls per year for the last four seasons.
He hit just .233/.320/.349 batting right-handed.
From Aug. 1 through the end of the regular season Grandal hit just .187/.281/.403 in 44 games.
Grandal saw his walk rate decline from 14.2% to 8.3% in 2017, including just 4.2% from May through July.
A 1-for-34 skid to start September opened the door for Austin Barnes to get more playing time behind the plate, and once the playoffs rolled around Grandal only started two of the Dodgers’ 15 games, including none in the World Series.
Grandal was 0-for-8 in the postseason, with three walks.
Stats: .247/.308/.459, 22 HR, 27 doubles in 129 games
Salary: $5.5 million
Game of the year
Grandal drove in three runs on opening day against the Padres with two home runs, including one from each side of the plate. It was the 12th time a Dodger hit home runs as a lefty and righty in the same game, with Grandal joining Eddie Murray and Milton Bradley as the only ones to do it twice.
Grandal has five years, 115 days of major league service time and has one more year before qualifying for free agency. MLB Trade Rumors projected Grandal to earn $7.7 million through salary arbitration in 2018.