The biggest contract in Chicago White Sox history belongs to Yasmani Grandal.
Yasmani Grandal has been a polarizing player during his White Sox tenure. After signing the largest contract in White Sox history, he has been the center of debate as to whether he has lived up to those expectations.
While his numbers do not jump off the page, his presence on the White Sox roster has been instrumental in turning them into contenders.
Pitchers have raved about his ability to work with the pitching staff and he was ranked among the top defensive catchers in baseball in his first year with the team. He was second in the American Leagues in Total Zone Runs as a catcher.
In 2021 he established career highs in on-base percentage (.420), slugging percentage (.520), and OPS (.939). He also launched 20 home runs which ranked second on the team. Pitchers also had a 3.59 ERA with him behind the plate.
This season has been a completely different story. Grandal had off-season surgery on his knee and didn’t look like himself early on. This was similar to his 2021 campaign.
He started slow because he was struggling with leg issues. It wasn’t until he got his legs under him that he began to take off.
However, this season, Grandal was never able to flip the switch. Back spasms and a knee strain have not helped.
He is batting .207 with four home runs and 23 RBIs. Grandal has never hit for average but he has always been able to draw walks. He set a franchise record for catchers with 87 of them in 2021.
This season he has a .311 OBP, his lowest mark since 2017. The power numbers are also concerning. Grandal’s .276 slugging percentage is a career low. Meanwhile, his hard hit and barrel percentage rank in the league’s bottom half.
It is fair to wonder if Grandal’s knees are shot. At the beginning of last season, he admitted to having no power because he wasn’t at full strength.
Now he is not only failing to hit for power but he isn’t even drawing walks. Power and the ability to get on base are what made him valuable on offense.
Grandal’s sprint speed places him in the bottom one percent of the MLB so he won’t be legging out any infield singles any time soon. It’s fair to wonder if he will ever be the same player entering his age 34 season.