At the time of his signing with the Phillies in July, 2012, Dominican native Deivi Grullon was one of the top catching prospects in the Caribbean. After a year in the minors, the 17-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.
Two weeks after Grullon signed with the Phillies, his father, Simeon, a former catcher who was integral in helping Deivi develop as a player, was struck and killed by a motor vehicle while on his own motorcycle. The youngster has not let the tragedy impede his progress, as he’s shown solid adaptability and great progress. He’s already looked at as a potential impact prospect.
Grullon projects as a big league catcher, but is clearly very young and has a long way to go. Already possessing a filled out frame at 5-feet-11 180 pounds, Grullon has drawn comparisons to Phils backstop Carlos Ruiz. Grullon may not project to develop a considerable amount more power, but that’s okay. If the Phillies know what they have to work with at a younger age, it could be better suited for his progress.
A righty batter, Grullon dominated left-handed hurlers, tallying a .462/500/.590 line against southpaws in the GCL. Improvements will need to be made against righty opposition, though, as Grullon’s .183/.256/.256 production against right-handers was fairly alarming. A refined approach when faced with pitchers’ counts, in general, is something scouts have cited as a standout quality for Grullon as well.
As a catcher, it is no surprise that Grullon would not project to contribute with his legs. Speed would certainly not be a brag-worthy aspect of this youngster’s multifaceted game.
It’s likely that Grullon, who spent time in the Florida Instructional League following the 2013 regular season, will begin his 2014 campaign in extended spring training, then join a short-season roster once they get rolling in June. However, time at Class A full-season Lakewood may not be too far in his future.
Grullon will turn 18 years old in mid-February, prior to the start of minor league spring training.