|St. Louis Cardinals – No. 15|
August 13, 1991 |
|April 28, 2014 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
(through 2014 season)
|Runs batted in||8|
Randal Alexander Grichuk (born August 13, 1991) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim drafted him in the first round of the 2009 MLB Draft from Lamar Consolidated High School in Rosenberg, Texas. He played five seasons in the minor leagues for the Angels, losing time to injury but also developing home-run hitting ability throughout. The Angels traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals in November 2013.
Grichuk plays all three outfield positions, possessing a strong arm and patrolling mainly right field in the minor leagues. Originally projected to be a first baseman before the draft, he improved his outfield defense and won the Gold Glove Award for all minor league right fielders in 2013. He also plays above average center field despite not possessing the classic speed for the position. Grichuk made his major league debut for the Cardinals on April 28, 2014.
Grichuk attended Lamar Consolidated High School in Rosenberg, Texas. In 2008 as a Lamar Consolidated Baseball player he was a 1st Team All State OF and the All-Houston Area MVP. That season Grichuk batted .435 with 18 HR's, and 45 RBI leading the mustangs to a school record 29 wins and a Regional Final appearance. In 2009 he was the 24-4A District MVP, Fort Bend Area MVP, 2009 1st Team All State OF, and 2009 1st Team All-American (EA Sports and Baseball America). In 28 games he hit .613 with 21 HR, 46 hits, 46 RBI's, and 47 runs before Lamar was beaten in the third round of the playoffs.
He committed to attend the University of Arizona. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim drafted Grichuk in the first round, with the 24th overall selection, in the 2009 MLB Draft, one selection ahead of Mike Trout. Grichuk signed with the Angels, rather than attend college.
A series of three unusual injuries have delayed the outfield prospect's development. First, he tore a ligament after just 12 games in 2010. Second, he batted a foul ball that fractured his knee cap. Finally, while diving for a ball, he broke his wrist. In 2012, his first full season, Grichuk played 135 games and batted .298 with 18 home runs (HR) and 71 runs batted in (RBI) with the Class-A Inland Empire 66ers. After a promotion to the Double-A Arkansas Travelers in 2013, he made 128 appearances, batting .256 with 22 HR and 64 RBI. In October, 2013, Rawlings and MiLB announced Grichuk was the recipient of the Minor League Gold Glove Award for right field.
According to Baseball America's Kary Booher, Grichuck possesses an athletic frame with average arm and enough range to profile into an outfield corner slot. Through 2013, he has shown a low walk rate but has enough balance and bat control to bat .260 or higher in the major leagues.
Grichuk began the season with the Memphis Redbirds of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League. The Cardinals promoted him to the majors for the first time on April 28 after he had batted .310 with a .359 OBP, .529 SLG, six walks and 17 strikeouts. He debuted as a defensive replacement in the outfield that day. Grichuk made his first major league start in center field the next day, collecting a single in five at-bats for his first major league hit. The Cardinals optioned him back to Memphis shortly thereafter, then recalled him on May 30. He improved his AAA numbers, batting .315 with a .363 OBP, .589 SLG and ten HR. Grichuk received the Cardinals' minor league system Player of the Month Award for May, 2014. On June 7, he hit his first major league home run off Toronto Blue Jays' ace Mark Buehrle in a 5–0 victory.
- Minor Leagues
- Rawlings Minor Leagues Gold Glove Award, RF (2013)
- Cardinals Minor League system Player of the Month (May 2014)
In 2014, Randal Grichuk was projected with potential as a power hitter in the major leagues possessing the athleticism and preparedness to handle center field well. At the plate, his most evident ability is to hit the ball with power and loft to all fields, easily give him potential for 20 or more home runs a season. With a smooth and compact stroke, his bat speed through the zone is at least average and frequently faster. His pitch recognition allows him the ability to work counts and he becomes more aggressive in hitter's counts. This approach yields lower-than-average walk rates but with a strikeout rate of less than 20 percent. One obvious weakness is that he misses easy pitches – such as high fastballs in the middle of the plate – that major league hitters rarely miss.
Originally projected to be a first baseman, Grichuk expanded his versatility to the outfield thanks in part to extra preparation and a sleek and proportioned athletic frame. For what he lacks in the classic speed of center fielders, he mitigates with robust jumps and precise route running and positioning to easily anticipate the trajectory of – and catch – balls hit to the outfield. Grichuk does not have a prodigiously strong arm but it is still at least average and accurate. His arm strength and range allow him the ability to cut off runners at times from extra bases on the occasional plays for which he did not properly position himself.
- "Grichuk homers twice for Texas team – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. August 21, 2004. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "Faces in the crowd". Fort Bend Herald and Texas Coaster. June 28, 2005. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "UA signs baseball recruits from nine states – Tucson Citizen Morgue, Part 1 (2006–2009)". Tucsoncitizen.com. November 14, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- MLB Press Release (May 24, 2013). "Angels select Randal Grichuk & Michael Trout in 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft | angels.com: Official Info". MLB.com. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Roling, Chris (November 22, 2013). "Randal Grichuk: 3 things you need to know about Cardinals' new prospect". Bleacher Report. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- Arkansas Travelers (October 1, 2013). "Grichuk amongst MiLB Gold Glove winners". Arkansas Travelers official website via MiLB.com. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- Booher, Kary (October 9, 2013). "Texas League top 20 prospects with scouting reports". Baseball America. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- "Angels add prospect Grichuk to their 40-man". Mlb.mlb.com. May 24, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Langosch, Jenifer (November 22, 2013). "Cards get Bourjos from Angels for Freese". MLB.com.
- Weurz, Scott (April 27, 2014). "St. Louis Cardinals call up Grichuk, Garcia; demote Wong, Robinson". Belleville News-Democrat. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- Sickels, John (April 29, 2014). "Prospect of the day: Randal Grichuk". SB Nation. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- Langosch, Jenifer (April 29, 2014). "First hit in books, Grichuk 'enjoying moment'". MLB.com. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- Goold, Derrick (May 30, 2014). "Cardinals make move on prospect, promote Grichuk". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- Trezza, Joe (June 3, 2014). "Molina extends All-Star vote lead, Grichuk honored". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Langosch, Jennifer (June 7, 2014). "Cards ignite late as Miller shuts out Blue Jays". MLB.com. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
- Newman, Mike (April 28, 2014). "Randal Grichuk scouting report (2014)". Rotoscouting. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)