School: Auburn University; Class: Junior
Position: CF; B/T: R/R
Height: 6–1; Weight: 180
Previously Drafted: Detroit Tigers, 39th round, 2013
Background: The speedy center field quickly put a lackluster freshman season behind him – he batted .255/.325/.329 with eight doubles and one homerun while swiping only seven bags in 15 attempts – to become one of the better offensive performers in college baseball the two seasons.
Grier slugged .323/.391/.445 during his sophomore campaign, with a whopping 22 doubles, three triples, one homeruns and nine stolen bases (in 16 attempts). The Alabama-born outfielder got invited – though he looked overmatched – to be a member of Team USA; he would go 3-for-18 with just one walk and seven punch outs.
This season Grier, though his first 56 games, is bashing to the tune of .366/.457/.576 with eight doubles, three triples, and a mind-boggling – at least compared his previous two seasons – 12 homeruns. He’s also gone 19-to-24 in the stolen base department.
For his career, Grier is sporting a solid .323/.401/.466 triple-slash line.
Projection: So now the bad news: Grier has a gaping hole in his swing, one that’s led to 140 strikeouts in his 736 career plate appearances – or just under 20% for his career. And here’s the more troubling issue: he’s shown no improvement over his career either.
And just for comparison’s sake, consider this: Based on Grier’s 2016 stats (strikeout and walk rates, and triple-slash line) the closest matches are Adam Walker, a fringy big leaguer, Caleb Adams, and Nick Banks. Whomp, whomp…
Grier looks like a potential fourth outfielder, maybe a less version of Mike Cameron if everything works out well.
Ceiling: 1.0- to 1.5–win player
Floor: 0.5-win player
Grade: Third Round