Tigers Scouting Report #12: Grayson Greiner

The Tigers snagged Grayson Greiner as an experienced college catcher in the third round of the 2014 MLB Draft. A player with a big frame and solid defensive skills already, can Greiner move quickly up the ladder, and could he be a potential option to start behind the plate down the road?

Grayson Greiner

Vitals

Position: Catcher


Date of Birth: 10/11/1992 (2014 Opening Day Age: 22)
Height/Weight: 6-5/220
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: 2014 MLB Draft, 3rd Round
Ranking History: #12 (2015)

Background: A critical element of some very successfully South Carolina teams, Greiner was drafted by the Tigers in the 3rd round and signed for slot money ($529,400). He debuted with the Low-A West Michigan Whitecaps in 2014; posting a .322/.394/.444 line in a month's worth of work, before his season ended prematurely for surgery to repair a broken hamate bone.

Performance:

2014 Stats - Hitting
TEAMABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSBCSBAOBPSLG
West Mich 90112950216111800.322.394.444


Scouting Report

Body: Big frame; extra-large for position; very strong with good muscle definition; still room to bulk up more as he reaches his physical peak; solid athlete that moves well; body should not prevent him from remaining at catcher.

Hit: Swing is on the longer side with fringe to average bat speed; still does well to manipulate the barrel and make consistent contact; contact can be soft at times; shows willingness to work counts and get deep but pitch recognition and strike zone knowledge work against this goal at times; wears out pull side and will work to middle of diamond at times; ability to use opposite field is lagging; still raw at plate despite collegiate experience; well below-average hit tool at present but chance to further development with pitch recognition; needs to adjust to premium velocity and secondary stuff; fringe hitter long term capable of hitting .260 at peak. Grade – Present 3+/Future 4+

Power: Strength is present; drives ball in BP; power plays to pull side and contact is soft to opposite field; some scouts see above-average raw power but tool does not play to peak levels because of length in swing and below-average hit tool; projects for 10-15 home runs at most. Grade – 4+/4+

Speed: Below-average down the line; speed is not part of game; will continue to slow as catching takes a toll; won’t be factor in game throughout career. Grade – 4/3

Defense: Strong defender; potential for plus defensive tools across the board as a professional; experience handling high-end arms in college; strong wrists and firm receiving with minimal drift; displays good target; works well with his staff; good blocking ability despite size, showing necessary skills for keeping the ball in front; solid footwork on throws that can still improve; needs to develop quicker release but has already made strides; improved release will augment strong arm; potential above-average to plus defender that reaches big leagues on the back of glove. Grade – 5/6

Arm: Above-average raw strength; throws are on a line and accurate; throws down to the bag easily given extreme height; arm plays down a half tick because of slower release; should play to raw strength with pro instruction and continued development. Grade – 5/5+

Other: High-level collegiate experience; strong leadership skills that are starting to come out at all times; intelligent player; hard worker.



Final Word

Summary: Similar to James McCann both offensively and defensively; strong defender with plus potential and above-average arm strength; defense should carry MLB profile; swing is a bit on the long side; has ability to generate contact on a variety of pitches, despite bat speed issues; has raw power to the pull side but struggles to really tap into power in game situations; potential .250-.260 hitter with fringe power if everything comes together.

Risk: Moderate risk; High floor player with quality collegiate experience; relatively polished game with minimal grade improvement possible; inherent risk of catcher development.

Projection: Potential quick mover; likely assigned to High-A Lakeland right out of the gate; should spend bulk of season there with chance at Double-A Erie before the summer is over; potential to be on MLB radar by close of 2016 season and heading into 2017; potential to develop as solid regular with fall back as a strong backup catcher.

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