Prospect Scouting Report: Tim Gradoville

The Phillies don't always look for the guys built like Todd Pratt when they scour through high schools and colleges. Usually, they look for guys built more like Mike Lieberthal. In 2002, they found one in young Tim Gradoville, a young catching prospect with plenty of defensive skills and even a little speed. The problem is that he has never been considered a strong offensive prospect. <b>This is a free preview of our premium content.</b>

Some teams still believe that the most important thing that a catcher brings to their club is defense. If that's what you're looking for in a catcher, Tim Gradoville is your man. He's considered nearly major league ready at handling pitchers and has a strong arm and good mechanics behind the plate.

In three seasons with Creighton, Gradoville hit 9 homeruns and drove in 65 runs hitting .280 in his college career. His best season was in 2001 when he hit 7 of his homeruns and drove in 38 runs. He also posted a .293 average, the highest of his college career. Because his offensive numbers were much less impressive than many other college players, Gradoville lasted until the Phillies took him in the 37th round of the 2002 Draft.

Gradoville is the kind of guy who won't be outworked and the Phillies believe that he can at least help them to develop young pitchers because of his knowledge of the game and his ability to get the most out of pitchers when he works with them.

Year

Team

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

KO

AVG

OBP

2002

GCL

37

101

16

27

6

0

0

4

14

2

8

19

.267

.327

2003

Lakewood

64

193

17

38

4

0

0

6

13

5

15

58

.197

.265

2004

Lakewood

24

62

9

9

2

1

1

9

4

1

10

24

.145

.308

2004

Clearwater

63

187

18

46

10

1

4

26

0

4

12

53

.246

.298

Career

Minors

188

543

60

120

22

2

5

45

31

12

45

154

.221

.293



Batting and Power: Forget the power numbers. It's just not going to happen. Gradoville will never be counted on to provide much offense. The Phillies would love it if he could make himself into a consistent .260 hitter, but he's only done that once in his professional career and that was in his first season of pro ball.

Baserunning and Speed: Gradoville actually has decent speed, but working behind the plate will start to put wear and tear on his knees and slow him down. He has found that as he moves up the ladder, stealing bases gets tougher. On the basepaths, he has a decent knack for getting an extra base here and there.

Defense: This is where Gradoville really earns his marks. He has a strong arm and has good mechanics with his throwing. He's the kind of catcher who almost loves to see a runner take off for second base. He also has good skills behind the plate and isn't afraid to throw himself in front of a ball in the dirt. Pitchers love working with him because he knows how to get the most out of them and can literally handle anything that they throw at him.

Projection: Gradoville will be 25 by the time the 2005 season starts. He really needs to start producing. He will likely start at Clearwater and might move along to Reading before too long. The Phillies may just accept the fact that he won't hit much more than he has shown and just see how far his defense can carry him. They certainly don't mind having him work with some of their better young pitchers.

ETA: Tough to say. If all goes perfectly, Gradoville might get a late season audition in 2007. Some scouts believe it will be a bit of a surprise for Gradoville to be a major leaguer, but again, there are plenty of teams that love strong defensive catchers, so don't count out Gradoville.


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