To say the first few months of the 2018 season were disappointing for Randal Grichuk would be a serious understatement. Grichuk, anxious to prove himself to his new team, looked lost at the plate and would hit just .106 through April.
After tweaking his knee in late April, Grichuk would miss all of May and oddly enough that was exactly what he needed to get out of that funk at the plate. Upon returning from the disabled list on June 1, Grichuk would go on to slash .294/.341/.647 in June, including 8 HR and 20 RBI.
At the time the Blue Jays acquired Grichuk last winter, they were in desperate need of another outfielder. The front office had made it clear they were moving on from Jose Bautista. And other than Kevin Pillar, Toronto had no other big league outfielders. The significance of adding Grichuk has become that much bigger considering that none of Toronto’s top outfield prospects have yet to prove they deserve a regular job in the majors.
In his brief time with the Blue Jays, Grichuk has also become a leader on this ball club. He’s exactly the kind of player that Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro have targeted since taking over Toronto’s front office. Grichuk plays the game the right way, doesn’t have any unnecessary attitude, and takes as much pride in his defense (if not more) than he does hitting.
Now that Grichuk has those new team jitters out of the way, he’ll be looking to build off that impressive 2nd half of the season where he posted a .280 AVG and racked up 14 HR. Having played just 124 games in 2018, he still managed to hit a team leading 25 home runs. If Grichuk can remain healthy this season, look for him to become a 30 HR guy and carry on the Blue Jays tradition of prolific power hitters in right field.