What happened in 2016: Started off well, had a couple of down months (likely due to injury), then was one of the Dodgers’ top offensive performers in the second half.
After undergoing shoulder surgery in the offseason, Yasmani Grandal began the 2016 season on the 15-day disabled list with right forearm soreness. He played his first game of the year on April 12, and he got off to a strong start in spite of the fact that he probably wasn’t fully recovered from the shoulder ailment. This became all too clear in May and June, in which he batted a lean .140/.243/.302/.545.
Bouncing back, Grandal really took off in July, OPSing 1.130 in 82 plate appearances. After hitting all of seven home runs from April through June, Grandal hit eight in July. Three of those came in one game against the Padres in which he went 5-for-5. Chad’s recap of that game has videos of all the dingers (plus a bunt single!).
By the end of the season, Grandal had tied Justin Turner for team lead in home runs, with 27. That was also the most home runs by any National League catcher.
There’s also the matter of what Grandal did behind the plate. The Dodgers led baseball in framing runs in 2016, largely due to Yasmani — and that’s despite both A.J. Ellis and Carlos Ruiz putting up negative numbers.
Framing Runs by team, 2016 pic.twitter.com/axNSiuLtfc
— Jonathan Judge (@bachlaw) December 17, 2016
Unfortunately, Grandal’s success in the regular season did not transfer to the postseason, where he batted .107/.286/.214/.500 in 36 PA. He did drive in three of the Dodgers’ six runs in Game 3 of the NLCS, however, including a two-run home run.
2017 status: Grandal arbitration-eligible and is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to get $5.3 million via the process. That seems about right for a catcher of his offensive and defensive prowess.