Lost and Found: Angels Prospect Randal Grichuk

Editor’s note: Lost and Found is an offseason series in which one underrated prospect from each of the 30 MLB clubs will be discussed in a short, snappy post.

Lost: Randal Grichuk will always carry with him this dubious distinction: He was not only drafted before Mike Trout in the 2009 MLB Draft, he was drafted by the same team. To make matters more awkward for him, Grichuk (like Trout) was also a high school outfielder with strong physical tools. So if Grichuk, who was underwhelming in 2011 when Trout was really emerging as the game’s top prospect, was never lost, we can at least agree that he was overshadowed and, perhaps, in the dark.

2011: .256 AVG, 3 HR, 25 RBI in 199 ABs spanning 59 G split between three lower levels

Found: Grichuk finally finished a season healthy. In fact, this was his first season of more than 251 at-bats in his four years as a pro. So it’s no surprise that he established career-highs in all the important categories while returning to the Halos’ list of top prospects.

2012: .298 AVG, 18 HR, 71 RBI in 537 ABs spanning 137 G at Class A Advanced Inland Empire

So Grichuk was lost, now he is found. Now, about the Angels’ returns: Grichuk, now 21, will not be Mike Trout, because there is only one Mike Trout. But as long as expectations are lowered — and his health is maintained — this righty-hitting, toolsy center fielder should find his way to Anaheim by 2015. He’ll just have to move to left field or right, because someone else is already in center and will be for a long, long time.

2013: ??? at Double-A Arkansas (Grichuk will also been polishing his skills in the Arizona Fall League, which kicks off next Tuesday; Trout, you may remember, played in the AFL in ’11)

Randal Grichuk with Inland Empire. (Fernando Gutierrez)

2 Comments

Grichuk and Trout were drafted back-to-back by Anaheim, so it doesn’t matter which one went first.

In fact, the Angels’ scouting director said he picked Grichuk first just to prank the guy who scouted Trout. From the SI article: “Morhardt almost fainted,” says Bane. “That was kind of cruel of me, but I thought it was funny.” The Angels say they would have picked Trout as high as second overall.

Thanks for the comment, Scott. You’re right on the mark. Grichuk probably wishes more people knew about the story you mentioned, don’t you think?

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