The Chicago White Sox made a great decision when they signed Yasmani Grandal after the 2019 season ended. First of all, it signaled that the rebuild was coming to an end and that winning was now going to be a priority on the South Side of Chicago. It also gave them a very good offensive catcher that was going to help them steal some games.
First, we will talk about the one knock in 2021. He wasn’t as good defensively as the White Sox needs him to be. He also missed a large chunk of time because of a surgery that he had. It is a serious possibility that his defensive abilities were hindered by it when he came back. The hope is that it will all be worked out by spring training 2022.
With all that in mind, the surgery may have helped his offense. He was struggling to swing before the injury but he was drawing his walks at a high rate. However, when he came back, the power was fully back while maintaining that high on-base percentage.
Grandal finished the 2021 season with a slash line of .240/.420/.520 for an OPS of .939. He also hit 23 home runs and had 62 RBIs with 60 runs scored over the 93 games that he played in. If he kept that pace over 162 games, we’d be talking about a potential MVP. He had a 3.7 WAR which goes to show just how valuable he was during the 2021 season.
People are only going to remember his tough series defensively against the Houston Astros which is a shame. He had a fantastic season and really helped the White Sox ascend to where they were. If he can work with the pitchers on a better strategy to avoid past balls and baserunners stealing, he will be the complete package as a catcher. It would also be nice to see him stay healthy in 2022.
Yasmani Grandal had an outstanding season in 2021 but we know there is more.
2021 Grade: B+
This grade might honestly be low for Grandal. However, he misses an A because of the defense and the injury factor. It isn’t his fault that he got hurt but he needs to be healthy to have an A-level impact on the club. If he was there for the entire season and an injury didn’t hinder his defense, we might be talking about an A+. He had a .939 OPS for crying out loud.
Yasmani Grandal is going to be the Chicago White Sox starting catcher in 2022. He will also be one of their most prolific offensive players as well. It would be nice to see them add another defensive-minded catcher to help him out in that area as well. He has also shown the ability to play first base and be a designated hitter as well which helps. Expect another big year out of him in 2022 for the White Sox.