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Many people were hoping for St. Louis Cardinals OF Randal Grichuk to have a breakout season last year and it didn't happen. A lot of people will sum up the Cardinals' outfielder 2016 season as a disappointment.
Grichuk started slowly. He eventually began to lose at-bats and was sent to the minors. Part of it was the Cardinals getting better production from other outfielders, and part of it was Grichuk swinging and missing often. Those that took Grichuk knew that was part of his profile.
Since Grichuk didn't live up to the expectations, he's coming at a discount in early drafts. These are the type of players you want to look at carefully because they come at a cheap price.
Grichuk is often going outside the Top 200, and that's a buying opportunity. Grichuk has some flaws, but he has immense power and the chance to get a player with 30-homer potential that late is someone on the radar.
Grichuk didn't start out well at all last season. In his first 206 at-bats, he batted .206 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs. At that point, the Cardinals sent Grichuk to Triple-A, and he performed well and was called back to the major league team. Over his final 242 at-bats, Grichuk batted .269 with 16 home runs and 41 RBIs. While he did perform much better, the high strikeouts were still there with 63.
For the season, Grichuk batted .240 with 66 runs, 24 home runs, and 68 RBIs. He struck out 29.5 percent of the time and had a walk rate of just 5.9 percent, so he gets downgraded in on-base percentage leagues.
Grichuk has good raw power, and he's a fly ball hitter. He also hits the ball real hard with a 39.9 percent hard hit rate. Grichuk, 25, played with a bad left knee last season and he did say it bothered him. He had cartilage repair surgery in the off-season and will move to left field now that Dexter Fowler will play center field.
Grichuk is very aggressive at the plate, but he showed over a small sample he can still hit for a solid average with the high strikeouts. If can lay off some bad pitches out of the strike zone more frequently, it will only help him.
It seems the like the Cardinals will be more patient with him this season and if he plays every day, the counting stats will be there. It might come with a low average, but considering the cost, he's one to target later in drafts, especially if your team needs power.