The Reds signed their number one pick Catcher Yasmani Grandal. He inked a four-year Major League contract Monday with a bonus worth $2.99 million. So, he must be added to the 40 man roster which means a move must be made today. Perhaps another former Cardinal will be joining us and we will be moving a couple of young farmhands.
Grandal will report to the Reds’ player development complex in Goodyear, Ariz., for at least two weeks. At some point this season, he will join the organization’s rookie-level team in Billings and finish the season there.
In 62 games with University of Miami, Florida this season, the 21-year old Grandal batted .401 with 15 home runs, 60 RBIs. He was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the top amateur player in the country.
“We’re very happy. I like this kid a lot,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said by phone from Arizona. Grandal had been in Cincy for the Florida Marlin series and sat with Dusty Baker for a couple of games while he was suspended. They were all in Walt Jocketty’s box. Grandal explained later, “It was amazing. I got to talk to Joe Morgan after seeing him on tv all of the time and some of his games from way back. It was a great experience being there and talking to Dusty and seeing two games right next to him. I got a vibe on what it might be like if I get a chance to play for him.”
It looks as if the Reds were pulling out no stops. They busted out Hall-of-Famer Joe Morgan to impress this kid. I am sad though there was no mention of Johnny Bench. I assume they will get him to do some work with Grandal.
By midnight last night, the Reds had signed their top 2010 fifteen picks and 32 of their 50 selections. It seems Walt Jocketty is very pleased with Chris Buckley, the Reds Scouting Director. “Chris Buckley and his staff did a good job with both our amateur Draft and international signings. We’ve got quality kids,” Jocketty said.
If these new draft picks work out as expected, the Reds minor league prospects are bursting at its seams. I believe deep down that the Reds think Grandal may be on the big league club at some point next season. Even as a September call-up and be a starter in 2012. His bat is major league ready and his defense is okay but getting to know the major league hitters and calling the game will be his toughest challenge. It’s definitely nice to see us building through the draft. It has been awhile since the quality of talent has been this high. I remember back in the 80’s when the Reds didn’t have a win from a pitcher that came from a Reds draft pick. I am checking the facts on this as I type but its pretty obscure. It seems that the Reds are concentrating more on quality drafts and as a smaller market team it is essential. Look at the poor Pittsburgh Pirates. They could use a page or a chapter from the Reds current system.