Analyzing the top reasons for Yasmani Grandal’s struggles

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Analyzing the top reasons for Yasmani Grandal’s struggles originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

It is no secret that Yasmani Grandal hasn't had the strongest season of his career thus far. Between injuries and extended slumps, even Grandal himself has admitted that things aren't going the way he wants them to. Grandal hasn't found the spark that he had after ending the 2021 season on a strong note.

There are things we know are going on behind the scenes, such as knee issues after having another surgery over the winter. Grandal has mentioned it affected part of his swing early in the season. But are there deeper reasons for his struggles?

This may sound like the same old story told when Grandal was struggling to begin the 2021 campaign. This season is different, though; his 2021 and 2022 struggles are not nearly as similar as you may think. A deeper dive into the traditional stats and advanced metrics can help provide an understanding of just why Grandal has struggled this season, and how his struggles differ from those he experienced in 2021.

The Basics

Taking a look at both Grandal’s 2021 and 2022 seasons, there are some similarities, but there are more differences. His slash line through 53 games in 2021 was .166/.385/.378, which gave Grandal an OPS of .762. That’s not necessarily good for someone making $18M, but it’s solid when struggling. Now through 53 games in 2022, he has a slash line of .196/.300/.245, which gives an OPS of .545 – one of the worst in the league among qualified hitters. An interesting thing to note here is that the batting averages are roughly the same, so what is the difference?

A big plus for Grandal in 2021 was that he was walking a lot, which gave a lot of fans a reason to defend his slow start, as he had 54 walks in his first 53 games. In 2022, he is only at 28 walks. This explains the OBP drop-off. The strikeout rate is still pretty similar, as Grandal had 54 in 2021 and 48 in 2022 through the first 53 games. He cut down the strikeouts a little, but it’s nothing eye-raising.

Here is where there are two interesting differences between his two seasons. Grandal hit 10 home runs through 53 games in 2021. In 2022, Grandal sits at only two home runs. This is where the SLG percentage drop-off comes from. At the same time, through 53 games in 2022, Grandal has 36 hits in 213 plate appearances; in 2021, he had 25 hits in 209 plate appearances.

Outside of that, there is not much more we can learn from traditional stats about exactly why Grandal is walking and homering fewer times, but increasing the number of hits he has. We’ve learned what has changed, but not exactly why it has changed. Let’s move on to the more analytical side of things, as this is where we might get a better idea as to what changed in just one season for the switch-hitting backstop.

Read the rest of this article and learn about Yasmani Grandal’s struggles on soxon35th.com!

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