I was between Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk for a sleeper post. Why did Stephen lose out? Piscotty doesn’t know! Grey does, though. They’re roughly the same age; Piscotty will be 25 to start 2016, but Grichuk won’t turn 25 until August. They were both first round draft picks. That’s neither here nor there; no more rhyming and I mean it, anyone want a peanut? I don’t dislike Piscotty, but last year in a full season, he was on pace for around 16 HRs, 5 SBs and a .270 average. Grichuk was on pace for 23 HRs, 8 SBs and a .250 average. Those lines aren’t that different for fantasy value. Twenty points in average makes up for the power and speed lost, but average is fickle and how many times can one write Piscotty doesn’t know? Piscotty doesn’t know! Grey does, three times. That’s it, then a small migraine starts to pulse in your frontal lobe. Real baseball people who spit and scratch themselves would like Piscotty better (he takes more walks, strikes out less, better OBP). I like Piscotty too, especially soaked in espresso, but The Amazing Randal feels slightly more upsidey and I just had my computer dictionary learn the word upsidey, so here we are. Anyway, what can we expect from Randal Grichuk for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
How much Grichuk can Grichuk chuck if Grichuk strikes out 30% of the time? In that question you will find the sun, the moon and the monkey astrology cards that signify a future windfall of money, so it’s our job to read those cards. Now, I’m no gypsy; I’m just a boy, standing in front of a girl that was born in a manger in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Let’s look at some comp hitters, shall we? Not to answer, but to keep reading. Last year, Grichuk struck out 31% of the time after striking out 23% of the time in Triple-A. His minor league strike out rate makes me think he’ll be closer to a 27-28% strikeout guy. He swung at 35% of pitches outside of the strike zone and 74% of pitches inside the zone. Brandon Moss swung at 73% of pitches inside the zone, and 33% outside. Both had nearly identical line drive rates, their hard contact rates were close. Moss’s fly ball rate was top ten for all of the major leagues, while Grichuk was in the top 35. Brandon Moss had 22 HRs and 12 SBs in Triple-A, Grichuk had 25 HRs and 8 SBs. Moss is around a 27-28% strikeout guy, which Grichuk should be. Grichuk won’t walk as much as Moss, but, okay, they’re close enough for me. Grichuk is a young Moss. I shall call him Pete Moss. I feel the air coming out of the room comparing someone to Moss, but Moss never really got it together when he as young as 25, i.e., Brandon Moss never had a chance to be Pete Moss. Grichuk being a step in front of Moss has more room for growth and being upsidey (gotta make it worthwhile to learn a word). For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 69/25/82/.253/8 and a rock solid number three outfielder with a chance to be a number two. The good kind of number two.