A native of Wildwood, Missouri, Kyle Grana grew up a St. Louis Cardinals fan. After finishing his college career in the spring of 2013 at Bellarmine University in Louisville, once Cardinals country, the right-handed reliever signed on with St. Louis as a non-drafted free agent.
After successfully opening his professional career in the Gulf Coast League last summer, the 23-year-old was moved up to Johnson City, where he continued to excel against rookie-level hitters. Between the two stops, Grana fanned 33 and walked eight in 28 2/3 innings. His ERA was 1.88.
In 2014, Grana moved up to short-season Class-A State College, where he has become a valuable late-inning man for manager Oliver Marmol. In just 33 2/3 innings, he has 52 strikeouts and 14 walks to go with eight saves. Holding New York-Penn League batters to a collective .202 average, Grana has yet to give up a home run this season.
Grana’s 13.90 strikeouts per nine innings are second-most among NYPL relievers. His 52 Ks are fifth-most in the league and tops among all bullpenners. Given that, it is not surprising that the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder was recognized as a league all-star.
Grana discusses his career to date and specifically his 2014 success in the following interview, exclusive to The Cardinal Nation.
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