On Saturday the Minnesota Twins promoted outfield prospect Zack Granite to the major league roster. He started Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles, going 0-for-3 with a run scored and a walk. Here’s a quick look at what he offers.
Born on Staten Island New York on September 17th, 1992, Granite attended college at Seton Hall University, starting three seasons in the outfield. He hit a combined .299/.392/.367 in 633 at-bats from 2011 to 2013, showing little power but a good turn of speed with 67 steals over that period. The Twins drafted him in the 14th round in 2013.
He lost most of 2014 to a painful quad injury then had a mediocre 2015 season, hitting .249/.348/.304 in High-A. 2016 was much better, as he broke out with a .295/.347/.382 line in Double-A and stole 56 bases.
Granite ranked 19th on the pre-season Minnesota Twins Top 20 prospects for 2017 list with the following commentary:
19) Zack Granite, OF, Grade C+: Drafted in 14th round in 2013 out of Seton Hall, hit .295/.347/.382 with 56 steals, 42 walks, 43 strikeouts in 526 at-bats in Double-A; speedy left-handed hitter with some feel for hitting, lacks power but makes contact; has developed into a very skilled defensive outfielder with very good range; collected 13 assists on the season despite a mediocre arm. Age 24, could fit very well as a fourth outfielder. ETA: late 2017.
2017 has been the best season yet: .360/.412/.492 for Triple-A Rochester with 20 walks and 25 strikeouts in 236 at-bats, swiping 18 bases in 24 attempts.
Granite is listed at 6-1, 175, a left-handed hitter and thrower now age 24. His best physical tool is speed: he’s a 65-70 runner, uses it well on the bases, and has developed into an above-average defensive center fielder. His arm is rated as mediocre to average in strength terms but he’s on-target and timely with this throws, generating a good number of baserunner kills.
As a hitter he’s always made contact well and controlled the strike zone. Lack of strength was a big problem earlier in his career: he didn’t hit a single home run in college but he’s shown a bit more strength over the last season and a half. Home runs will never been his thing but he should hit the occasional double and triple.
Overall Granite projects as a fourth outfielder valuable for his speed, defense, and line drive hitting. If his power continues to improve somehow, he could move beyond that.
Some of the defense:
Line drive hitting