March 12, 2013; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings (8) hat and glove lay in the dugout against the New York Yankees at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rays Give Blake Grant-Parks A Second Chance in Round 39


Back in the 28th round of the 2011 MLB Draft, the Tampa Bay Rays took a chance on Blake Grant-Parks, a catcher from Yuba City High School in California. They knew it was going to be tough to sign him that late in the draft, but he was a catcher showing abilities across the board and they took a chance to see if they could find the money to get him. In the end, they failed to ink him and he went to Sierra. Now, three years later, Blake Grant-Parks is the same man but finds his career in an entirely different place.

Back in 2011, Grant-Parks had a chance to be a strong two-way catcher. At the plate, he showed bat speed and power, and while his approach was raw, he profiled well alongside previous Rays catcher draft picks like Justin O’Conner and Luke Bailey. Behind the plate, meanwhile, arm strength and athleticism made him stand out. He was also raw there, but that was to be expected. Grant-Parks was going to be a project- that’s the primary reason why he slipped so far- but the reward would be tremendous if he did come through in the end. Unfortunately for Grant-Parks, his upside isn’t nearly that high anymore.

It tells you everything you need to know that the Rays drafted Blake Grant-Parks in the 39th round as a first baseman. They are intrigued enough by him at the plate, but he simply hasn’t progressed enough defensively in three years to have any chance to remain at catcher. Grant-Parks will all the pressure on his bat at first base, and he still needs a lot of development there as well. However, the Rays are selecting him again because he is not yet a lost cause, and let’s see what he can do.

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