Earlier this season, the Toronto Blue Jays traded outfielder Randal Grichuk to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for outfielder Raimel Tapia and prospect Adrian Pinto, with the Jays also sending over some cash due to Grichuk’s contract. The trade made sense for both sides, in that the Jays were getting rid of the rest of Grichuk’s contract and acquired a solid bench player in Tapia while the Rockies gained an outfielder who can cover multiple positions and was looking for some more playing time.
As a member of the Jays, Grichuk compiled a .243/.289/.461 slash line through four years and 479 games with the club. He produced three 20+ home run campaigns and finished with a .751 OPS while suiting up in both right and centre field. His biggest concern was his hot and cold streaks, as Grichuk was a very streaky hitter throughout the course of a season. With the emergence of Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, and George Springer, the was really no room for Grichuk in the outfield which is one of the reasons the Blue Jays decided to trade him away.
Now with his new ball club, Grichuk is off to a solid start to the 2022 campaign, producing a 113 OPS+ while owning a .281 batting average and a .323 OBP. He currently has four home runs on the year (tied for second on the team) and his 16 RBI have him just behind CJ Cron while also adding one stolen base through 23 games. Not known for walking much, Grichuk only has four base on balls compared to his 27 strikeouts so far this year but he is seeing the ball well, sitting in the 65th percentile of xBA and 72nd percentile of hard-hit percentage.
With a new club to begin the 2022 season, former Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk is seeing the ball well with the Colorado Rockies.
Defensively, Grichuk has split his time between centre and right field and owns a combined -1 bDRS through 22 games. He made a pretty impressive catch earlier in the season, saving a ball from going over the centre field wall versus the Texas Rangers, but also made the blooper reel later in the month when a miscommunication between him and right fielder Charlie Blackmon against the Phillies allowed a ball to drop which allowed two runs to score.
Overall, it appears Grichuk may be up to his old ways, as he started the year with a batting average in the .330 area but has slowly started to taper off. In his last seven games, he has gone 5 for 29 and has struck out 11 times for a .172 average, meaning the hot start to the year is starting to drop back down, with the question being how far it will drop until he starts levelling off. He has been absolutely mashing left-handers to the tune of a 1.021 OPS through 26 at-bats and also loving the friendly hitter confines of Coors Field, slashing .319/.353/.468 with a .821 OPS through 12 games.
I wouldn’t expect him to continue hitting at .330 clip over the course of a full season (as not many players can actively stay at that threshold) but compared to some of the current Blue Jays, his batting average alone would have him ranked in the top three players behind Guerrero Jr. and Springer while his 16 RBI would have him tied for second (obviously some give and take considering they play in different ballparks and against different clubs).
It is nice to see Grichuk finding some success on the field considering he was not going to get the same amount of playing time if he were to stay on the Blue Jays. The club could have probably used that hot start when Teoscar Hernandez was on the IL these past few weeks but overall, this trade seems alright so far for both parties involved so far.