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The season that was: Randal Grichuk

A look at Randal’s 2021 season

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

After three seasons with the Blue Jays, Randal Grichuk has seen a vast changeover in the team's makeup. The only batters left who were part of the team Randal joined were Teoscar Hernandez, Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, and Lourdes Gurriel (who was up and down that year). On the pitching side, Tim Mayza was up and down some in Randal's first year with the Jays, and Ryan Borucki came up later in the season.

And, by now, we have a pretty good idea of who Grichuk is. But he seems to start each season strong, and we get told how Randal has figured things out. Thankfully, by now, all of us, except maybe Buck and Pat, have figured out that Randal's a guy who will have very very hot streaks and very very cold streaks.

In 2018 they added up to a valuable player.

In 2021, not so much.

Standard Batting
149 545 511 59 123 25 1 22 81 0 3 27 114 .241 .281 .423 .703 89 17 3 0 4
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 10/28/2021.

Baseball Reference has him at a 0.8 WAR. FanGraphs at 0.4, giving him a value of $3.5 million to the Blue Jays.

He had a wOBA of .300 (down from .334) and a wRC+ of 85 (down from 108 last year).

Compared to 2020, Randal's walk rate was down slightly (5.0% from 5.6), and his strikeout rate was much the same (20.9% from 21.2).

His line-drive rate was down (17.0% from 21.9%), the ground ball rate was slightly lower (39.7% from 41.4%), and the fly-ball rate was up (43.4% from 36.7). Fewer of his fly balls were leaving the park (12.6% from 19.4).

Randal's hard contact rate was down slightly (33.7% from 34.9), and the soft contact rate was down slightly (16.7% from 18.9).

Grichuk's BABIP was low (.266 from .299 last year),c so maybe he had some bad luck.

He hit LHP (.246/.291/.442) slightly better than RHP (.239/.277/.416).

He's one of our few hitters who hit better on the road (.260/.302/.431) than in our various home parks (.221/.258/.414).

Like last year, Randal hit well with RISP (.279/.321/.497).

As you likely remember, he was much better in the first half (.259/.289/.460) than the second half (.208/.267/.355).

Randal by month:

  • April: .282/.333/.506 with 5 home runs, 7 walks and 18 strikeouts in 24 games.
  • May: .295/.313/.491 with 4 home runs, 2 walks and 21 strikeouts in 28 games.
  • June: .231/.252/.413 with 5 home runs, 3 walks and 29 strikeouts in 26 games.
  • July: .197/.224/.423 with 5 home runs, 2 walks and 13 strikeouts in 21 games.
  • August: .165/.258/.291 with 2 home runs, 9 walks and 23 strikeouts in 27 games.
  • September: .250/.292/.367 with 1 home run, 4 walks and 10 strikeouts in 23 games.

On defense he played 735.1 innings in center field and didn't make an error there. UZR didn't like him there -6.2 UZR/150. He did make some sensational catches.

And he played 330.1 innings in RF and didn't make an error there either. UZR liked him a lot there, 27.6 UZR/150. A small sample size.

FanGraphs has him at -4.9 runs worse than the average baserunner, making him the fourth-worst baserunner in the AL. He was 0 for 3 in stolen base attempts. I don't know why he would be such a bad baserunner.

In games he started, Randal hit:

  • 2nd: 1 game.
  • 4th: 13 games.
  • 5th: 46 games.
  • 6th: 21 games.
  • 7th: 29 games.
  • 8th: 18 games.
  • 9th: 5 games.

Randal's favourite team to face? He hit .368/.381/.684 with 2 home runs in 6 games.

Least favourite? He hit .125/.125/.188 in 5 games against the Twins.

The Jays were 71-62 in games he started. His longest hitting streak and the longest on-base streak were 9 games.

As always, It is best to start the season on a hot streak. By the time people realize the hot streak is over, you are at mid-season and have been hitting in the middle of the lineup. That way, you can pick up RBI because the guys at the top of the order get on base.

How many times did Buck and Pat tell us how many RBI he had? He did set a new career-high in RBI.

Now if you could guess when the hot streak will begin and end, you’ll really have something.

I was kind of curious, he's 10th in the AL in hitting into double plays since 2018. But then he's 12th in games played over that time (he's also played the most games for the Jays since the 2018 season, 27 games ahead of Teoscar).

He is under contract for two more years, getting $10,333,333 next year and the same the year after (there is a bonus for getting to 1200 PA in 2021 and 2022, but he's not going to make it).

Will he be traded? Well, we traded Vernon Wells, so no contract can't be moved. I can't imagine getting value back from him, but I think the team would be happy to have the roster spot. He could be a stop-gap in case George Springer is hurt again. But he doesn't play center well enough that we couldn't drop almost anyone into the spot and not be that much worse off.

I’d imagine he’ll be with us the next two years unless next year goes really bad, and they decide to eat the last year of his contract.


For his 2021 season, I would grade Randal Grichuk an

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