Editor's Note: Two years ago, Site Manager Ben Humphrey asked readers to provide predictions for Cardinals baseball players. Last year, he renewed that request, and although Ben is in blogger retirement, we at VEB renewed the request to predict how the Cardinals will do. The answers are now in, although projections are still out on many players if you have not yet made one.
We received 223 responses for Randal Grichuk. When we asked for projections, we said this:
All things considered, projecting Grichuk is no easy task. When healthy (which, up to this point in his professional career, is a very important qualifier to consider), Grichuk has performed quite well on the field. His hitting coach likens him to a Ferrari. And with just one solid (but also injury-riddled) season on his big-league resume, MLB Network ranked the 24-year-old outfielder the 44th best player in MLB "right now."
Now, I am not at all complaining about such a high ranking for an important member of the Cardinals (even though he had no business outranking Matt Carpenter), but what makes this scenario especially confusing is Grichuk ranked eighth among center fielders in MLB Network's "right now" positional rankings, behind Adam Eaton (6th) and Kevin Kiermaier (7th), both of whom placed lower than Grichuk overall at unranked (?) and 65th, respectively.
Some offseason Grichuk articles you may have missed that may come in handy when inputting your 2016 projections are Ben Markham's "Finding comps for Randal Grichuk" and Craig's piece titled "Thirty homers is a realistic goal for Randal Grichuk." Considering we ask for a projected WAR (which, by definition, includes a defensive component), it may also be beneficial to look ahead to Grichuk's defensive future, through the eloquent writing of John Fleming.
If anybody ever tells you that VEB does not believe in Randal Grichuk, counter with this:
In 466 plate appearances in Grichuk's career so far, he has a .268/.316/.510 line with 20 home runs (23 homers in 510 PA if including playoffs). VEB thinks that will continue. We shall see. Here is the complete list of responses.