At the time of his signing with the Phillies in July, 2012, backstop Deivi Grullon was one of the top baseball prospects in the Caribbean. Following two years in the minors, the 18-year-old is looked at as an even more promising player.
Grullon, who signed for a reported $575,000, looked very good with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2013, posting a .273 batting average with eight doubles, a home run and 14 RBI in 41 games at the rookie level.
He followed up that campaign with a season in which he split time at three levels in 2014. Grullon started his season in mid-April with a promotion to Class A Advanced Clearwater out of extended spring training. He notched two hits in ten at bats in two games there. A demotion to Class A Lakewood, where he would get more playing time, followed. In 24 games as a BlueClaw, the six-foot-one 180-pounder posted a .237 average with five doubles, a home run and seven RBI. Grullon would be demoted once more to short-season Class A Williamsport when their season began in June. With the Crosscutters, he batted .225 with nine doubles, a triple and 18 RBI in 53 games.
A righty batter, Grullon typically performs better against left-handed pitchers, although he sported fairly balanced splits last season. A refined approach when faced with pitchers’ counts, in general, is something scouts have cited as a standout quality for Grullon as well.
Grullon, a Domincan Republic native, projects as a big league catcher, but he is clearly very young and has a long way to go. He has drawn comparisons to Phils backstop Carlos Ruiz. The youngster may not project to develop a considerable amount more power, but that’s okay, as he brings plenty more to the table.
His defense is an excellent aspect of his game with his plus arm behind the dish being a rave-worthy tool that his battery mates rely on to keep runners reserved. Already praised by coaches as being energetic and a quality game caller, Grullon is poised to be a top-notch leader on the field. His defensive projections are what make Grullon stand out the most.
It’s likely that Grullon, who will turn 19 years old in mid-February prior to minor league spring training, will begin his 2015 season with Lakewood.
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