Casey Grayson flips a ball to first. Mandatory credit; Christopher Shannon
Here’s a player I have not heard much about until just recently. Grayson was the Cardinals’ 21st round selection in 2014 and earned MVP honors from State College this season. Grayson finished the year hitting .308/.414/.420 in 298 ABs. He compiled 22 extra base hits with just two of them being home runs.
The concerns that pop up for this prospect are his “older age” for a short season player (24 years old) and his abnormally high BABIP this season of .405. Grayson also nearly doubled his strikeout total from last season in only nine more games without adding much power. This will be a player to watch over the next few seasons. He will get the bump up to Peoria next season for his first full season and we shall see what he becomes and what the organization thinks of the 21st round draft pick after next season.
The player I originally would have picked here would have been the kid drafted this year from Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis who in 42 games with State College hit .347/.397/.521 with 14 extra base hits (5 home runs and 9 doubles). Olivera was a 38th round draft pick in this year’s draft which makes his numbers even more impressive.
Another impressive note about Olivera, is that he was promoted to Class A Peoria for the final ten games of the season. In those games he doubled three times and homered twice driving in ten runs. The Cardinals are starting to become pretty loaded in the OF and Olivera is almost 25, so it will be intriguing to see how the Cardinals move him through the system over the next couple seasons. It wouldn’t be far fetched to see them start him in either Palm Beach or Peoria next season, a strong start with either team could see him finishing the season with AA Springfield next season.
It really is neat to see the mid to late round draft picks performing well.