Mar 15, 2014; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; The sun reflects off the glasses of Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Justin Christian (71) during the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Granden Goetzman: His tools still mean something
Even when Goetzman was putting it all together at Low-A Bowling Green, hitting to a .315/.349/.515 line in 249 plate appearances, his strikeout to walk ratio was just 53-10 and we knew he was in for a rude awakening at higher levels. Sure enough, he managed just a .213/.259/.287 mark in 185 High-A PA’s, and his status as a prospect was back in question.
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Goetzman’s Australian Baseball League stint began as an even crazier version of that sequence of events. Through his first 144 plate appearances of the season, Goetzman had a bizarre .244/.292/.480 line, hitting for a ton of power and also stealing 9 bases yet striking out 28 times against just 6 walks. That isn’t the type of performance that is sustainable, and it looked like Goetzman’s ABL performance would just leave us shaking our heads.
Since, then, however, Goetzman has made 56 plate appearances that have been an entirely different story. He has hit to an insane .426/.518/.660 line, and best of all, he has walked 8 times against 8 strikeouts. His overall numbers look much better as well – .293/.358/.529 with 10 doubles, 9 homers, 26 RBI, 16 stolen bases, and a 36-14 strikeout to walk ratio in 45 games.
Granden Goetzman’s hot streak to end the ABL season doesn’t mean that he has suddenly turned a corner, but it at least demonstrates that we should not give up on him yet. If he can find more consistent plate discipline, he can still reach his upside as an everyday corner outfielder. Of course, there is no guarantee that he will, but after his finish in the ABL, let’s enter 2015 with cautious optimism regarding Goetzman.