California infielder Preston GrandPre has been drafted in the 24th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. The Dodgers used the 730th overall pick to take the right-handed hitting middle infielder, after looking heavily into former teammate Mitchell Kranson (drafted by the Minnesota Twins) before the Draft last season.
GrandPre was one of two upperclassmen in the Cal starting lineup this season, along with third baseman Denis Karas, who was drafted 299th overall by the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1784737-denis-karas-taken-...The 6-foot-4, 175-pounder started the entire 2015 season at shortstop (57 games), and split time between shortstop and second base in 2016, before breaking his wrist the week before the start of the 2017 season and sitting out 30 games. When he returned, GrandPre started 21 games at second base, for a career-best .951 fielding percentage.
GrandPre's plate approach improved every year in Berkeley, hitting .264 with just 4 walks and a .287 on-base percentage as a freshman, to a .290 average with 9 walks and a .349 on-base percentage as a sophomore to a .325 average, 6 walks in 24 games as a junior, with a .400 on-base percentage. His slugging also improved each season, from .327 to .364 to .425.
A line-drive hitter who crowds the plate, GrandPre hit into just 6 double plays in 464 at-bats over three seasons (132 games), with 16 doubles, 6 triples and 2 home runs.
A long, rangy infielder who has the height and length to play first base in a pinch, GrandPre was drafted as a shortstop by the Dodgers. He's got plus hands, and while he has a strong arm, he can get a bit wild on throws to first. His length helps his range, and he doesn't get tangled up in his own legs and feet nearly as often as would be expected. In fact, his footwork is one of his strong points.
GrandPre has a short, compact stroke that's quick to the ball, allowing him to spray the ball to all fields. What power he has (and there's not much at this point) is to the pull side. He has a narrower frame, and he'd need to add weight -- two facts that generally don't mesh well together -- but he's put on nearly 20 pounds since arriving on campus, and continues to fill out.
Being as long and narrow as he is, he's unexpectedly fast, stealing 5 bases on 9 attempts in his 24 games this season -- twice his pace from his full sophomore season, when he stole 5 in 51 games.