Yasmani Grandal Is A Fucking Stud

I needed to give a quick shoutout to the best catcher in baseball not named Buster really quick. 

Almost 2 years ago, the White Sox signed Yasmani Grandal to the largest guaranteed deal in team history. It was a nice breath of fresh air as it happened almost as soon as the World Series was completed and it was the first "we're trying to win a World Series right fucking now" move the White Sox made. It was a sign the rebuild was dead as a doornail.

But what he's doing this year is fucking crazy. It's been a giant statistical anomaly but with 25 or so games left in the season, one this is absolutely, positively certain: Yasmani Grandal is a fucking STUD. Just an absolute stud.

Lots of people will point to these numbers and tell me I'm smoking crack by calling him a stud. They're wrong. I don't smoke crack, never have and never will. But at a glance, they'd have a *small* point:

At a glance, those are whatever. Nothing to write home about. But those stats don't come CLOSE to telling the story of Yasmani Grandal's 2021 season. Let's look at his stats a little closer: 

Those numbers are absolutely fucking absurd for a catcher. And they're especially absurd for a catcher that a lot of people said SUCKS just a few short months ago. Like… lots of people thought he was a bust of a signing 

And it was all because this was his slash line from opening day through 

But anyone who was watching him under a microscope knew he was getting completely fucked by the baseball gods. He was putting together quality at bat after quality at bat and had almost NOTHING to show for it. I'm not some batting average Stan, but a .125 average is horrific 99% of the time.

But Yaz was that 1% of the time you could take someone hitting .125 and say "this guy doesn't actually suck." He was still getting on base at a .375 clip or so and still had a leave average OPS and wRC+, two of my favorite measurements of offensive performance. That, and the quality of his contact was at personal career best. You can't filter Baseball Savant profiles game by game or separate it by splits, but in 2021Yaz's contact profile would be amongst the best in baseball if he didn't get hurt and qualified for the measurements.

Since mid-May, however, he's been on an all out ASSAULT, save for those 5-6 weeks he's missed with an injury. 

And since his hiatus with knee surgery, he's been even better:

Small sample size aside, he's been on a tear in his return. Zavala did his job and held his own as best as he possibly could during Yaz's time on the shelf, but inserting a player that works counts (highest BB rate in baseball), hits for power, uses all fields, switch hits, makes consistent hard contact and is one of the better defensive catchers in baseball is a massive, massive lightning rod for this team.

Yaz deserves his own blog and he's getting one right now. He's been an absolute fucking stud for this team and even when he hasn't been at his best, he's still helping the team by getting on base at a .350+ clip when hits aren't falling for him, which has been a LOT, considering his .221 BABIP this year.

Still on cruise control. It's apparent the white sox are prioritizing health and rest to winning right now, as Gio, Lynn, Engel and Anderson are all on the IL and Rodon is gonna skip another start. Don't think any of them would be on the IL if they were in dire need of games. I'm all for that so long as come September 20th or so, it's full go with a full lineup. They're playing .500 ball right now and not really losing (or gaining) any ground in the race for home field against Houston, but when there are 12-14 game left in the year, I want a fully stacked lineup to get these guys all in a rhythm of where they're hitting in said lineup and playing in the field.  Lineup cohesion isn't something stats really matter, but absolutely matters. 

Fill up the tank, get hot, and as soon as game 1 of the ALDS starts, be as hot as the Yankees were 2 weeks ago. It's doable. 

That's it. That's what I want to see and that's what I think we're going to see.