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The San Diego Padres desired an alternative to Nick Hundley (.169/.234/.282) and John Baker (.235/.328/.333), so they tabbed their franchise catching prospect. Yasmani Grandal will be summoned from Triple-A Tucson before Friday's game. They have yet to announce a corresponding transaction.
It'll likely take some time until Grandal becomes the starting option, if just to get familiar with the SPs and get accustomed to playing big-league defense, an area needing improvement. Bill Center of U-T San Diego said the Fathers will likely keep all three on roster for now, with Grandal being a solid bat off the bench.
But it's hard to think he'd ride the pine after posting a .317/.421/.500 Triple-A triple slash with four homers and 23 RBIs. These notables typically come up to play. Recent Pads squads have been a perpetual preview of the future, and Grandal, acquired in the Mat Latos swap, ranks as a cornerstone. He should get every chance to win the starting receiver gig.
The Cuban's a top entry on nearly every backstop prospect list thanks to his highly attractive batting average and on-base indicators, which at Triple-A Tucson have been magnified in his 21:27 walk-to-strikeout ratio and his continued liner presence.
Sure, the Pacific Coast League augments bat worth, but his rapid escalation up the farm after a standout career at the University of Miami indicates these skills are legit. He projects in the next few years as the type to hit 10 to 15 homers in a full campaign instead of something near 20, but his 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame and compact batter's box presence says there's more yard-leaving to tap into in years to come.
Those in two-catcher formats shouldn't waste time in netting him, and the switch-hitting 23-year-old should already be owned in all eligible dynasty formats considering his pedigree.
Baker, for what it's worth, is eight for his last 23 with four RBIs, so he's been earning his keep. Hundley, who agreed to a three-year extension in spring training, has not been as fruitful, partially because he has been battling side muscle and back issues since camp.
This gives SD the opportunity to rest him more or place him on the DL. Hundley's extension means Baker would be the roster casualty should they need to make space down the road, for those NL-only PT seekers that care.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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