Catcher Yasmani Grandal was the key acquisition in Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi’s first offseason. Grandal would start 100 or more games in each of the past four seasons and the Dodgers are still looking for someone to pair with Austin Barnes to help make up for Grandal’s production.
What went right
Grandal remained the gold standard when it comes to framing.
A #Statcast look at pitch framing for the top FA catchers: Yasmani Grandal vs. Wilson Ramos— David Adler (@_dadler) November 29, 2018
Grandal's gotten called strikes on 52.5% of borderline pitches received since 2015 (#2 among regular C)
MLB average: 47%
That can mean hundreds more strikes over a season. pic.twitter.com/95vv0PNj1J
According to this November 2018 MLB.com article by David Adler, Grandal’s 52.5% in called strike percentage on borderline pitches was second in MLB only to Jeff Mathis over the last four seasons.
As far as at the plate, Grandal hit 24 home runs with a 121 OPS+.
The combination of his framing and his offense should make him a valuable free agent acquisition.
What went wrong
As well as Grandal framed in the regular season, his problems with just catching the ball put him on the bench in the postseason.
In Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, Grandal set a dubious record. He became the first catcher in MLB postseason history to allow two passed balls and two errors in the same game.
His fielding problems were compounded by the fact that Grandal has never hit in the postseason in his Dodger career. In 75 career postseason at-bats, Grandal has struck out 35 times. His overall batting line is .107./264/.200 in 92 plate appearances.
Stats: In 518 plate appearances, Grandal hit .241/.349/.466 with 24 home runs.
Game of the year
Yasmani Grandal walk-off bomb! pic.twitter.com/DOVZrTLr3m— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) August 2, 2018
Yasmani Grandal hit two home runs including a walk-off homer against the Brewers on August 1st. He went 3-for-5 with those two home runs and three RBI.
The Dodgers gave a qualifying offer to Yasmani Grandal and he turned it down. So if one of the 29 teams Grandal did not play for in 2018 does sign him, the Dodgers will receive a compensation pick between the Competitive Balance “B” round and 3rd round of the draft.