Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Yasmani Grandal Is Primed For A Big 2023


One of the biggest storylines from last year was poor play from a lot of players on the White Sox. Picked as favorites by many people to walk away with the division, the season was riddled with injuries and under-performances by many players even when “healthy”. Yasmani Grandal was one of the players that fit that description. After coming off a big second half in 2021 which saw him hit .240/.420/.520 with 23 home runs and 62 RBIs in only 93 games, most of which came in the second half, he followed it up with an injury-ridden campaign. Last year he hit only .202/.301/.269 with 5 home runs and 27 RBIs in 99 games. That type of season is far from the Yasmani Grandal that was brought here to help make the White Sox into a contender. But this spring looks promising… 

Yasmani Grandal Has Looked Great This Spring

Yasmani is currently having a very strong spring. He is hitting .357/.412/.643 with a home run and 4 RBIs. More importantly, he has passed the eye test. He looks more comfortable, and for the first time in a while, he looks healthy. His swing looks like the same one we saw in the second half of 2021, and he has been making some very hard contact. Even better, most of these hits have come off of big-league pitching, which is a great sign. He has been swinging the bat well from both sides, one of the traits that makes Yaz so valuable. As if it wasn’t big enough to get his bat back, he has looked good behind the plate as well, reminding us why he was graded as one of the best pitch framers in baseball. 

Yasmani Will Benefit From The Banning Of The Shift

As amazing as all of this is, he has shown to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the banning of the shift. With the shift banned, he has been able to take advantage of the gap that now sits in shallow right field. We have seen him do this in the small sample size this spring. He has a couple of hits that would have been right into last year’s shift. This bodes well for both him and the White Sox. Too many times over his career has he gotten a hit taken away from him because of the extra fielder in shallow right. With the shift banned, he should look to raise his average and become even more dangerous this year as long as he can stay healthy, which has been an issue for him since joining the White Sox.  

Yasmani Is Back And Healthy

Recently, Yasmani spoke about the knee and back injuries that plagued his season, and now he is coming back fully healthy. After avoiding back surgery during the 2022 season, he has taken the offseason to heal up and is coming back as healthy as ever. He has definitely shown that this spring. A healthy Yasmani Grandal is big news for the White Sox. Once their biggest free agent signing of all time, (now replaced by Andrew Benintendi) he was integral in getting the White Sox back to the postseason in 2020 and 2021. If Spring Training is any indication, he is on his way to the old Yasmani that we have come to know since his time even before the Sox.

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