Blue Jays’ Randal Grichuk enjoying new digs
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk appears poised to benefit from a change of scenery in Toronto and is a strong candidate for a breakout season in 2018.
The Blue Jays acquired Randal Grichuk in their second transaction of the offseason with the St. Louis Cardinals sending pitcher Dominic Leone and prospect Conner Greene to the Cards in exchange for the 26-year old outfielder.
Grichuk became expendable in St. Louis due to a crowded outfield and the acquisition of Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins. The outfielder spoke to the media yesterday in Dunedin and opined that he feels like he has been here for years, he also had some kind words for his new teammate Kevin Pillar.
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Grichuk has struggled with inconsistency the past couple seasons in St.Louis, however, he possesses many of the traits the Jays were lacking last season. The 26-year old is an above-average defender with good speed and athleticism on both sides of the diamond. The Jays will definitely employ a speedier outfield this season with Grichuk coupled with Pillar and Curtis Granderson manning the gaps.
He is tabbed to get the lions share of the work in right field and should benefit from consistent playing time in 2018. Last season Grichuk hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 homers and a 1.0 WAR rating in 122 games, the Cards also demoted him back to the minors where he spent 16 games before being recalled to the big club.
The former 1st round pick has back to back 20+ homer seasons under his belt and in all likelihood should eclipse his 2016 career high of 24 in the friendly confines of the Rogers Centre this season.
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Grichuk brings a ton of potential upside and this has the makings of a great trade for General Manager Ross Atkins and company if the young outfielder can benefit from his new digs and finally live up to his lofty expectations. I have a feeling the former Cardinal will be a Blue Jays fan favourite for years to come.