In Double-A Portland’s doubleheader sweep of the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field on Thursday night, Red Sox outfield prospect Devlin Granberg went 3-for-5 with one triple, one RBI, one run scored, one walk, and one strikeout while batting third and starting in center field for both contests.
After beginning the season on the injured list, Granberg made his 2022 debut on April 16. Since then, the right-handed hitter has batted a stout .367/.475/.531 to go along with four doubles, two triples, three RBIs, eight runs scored, three stolen bases, eight walks, and five strikeouts over 14 games (59 plate appearances) with the Sea Dogs.
Among Eastern League hitters who have made at least 50 trips to the plate this year, Granberg ranks tied for first in strikeout rate (8.5%), first in batting average, first in on-base percentage, 12th in slugging percentage, sixth in OPS (1.005), 18th in speed score (7.6), and sixth in wRC+ (185), per FanGraphs.
If there were any reason to be concerned about Granberg’s offensive production thus far, it would have to do with the fact that he is pulling more than 54% of the balls he is putting into play while also hitting groundballs at a 51.2% clip.
Defensively, the 6-foot-2, 224 pounder who once came up as a first baseman/corner outfielder has seen all of his playing time this season come in center field. Coming into play on Friday, he has logged 120 innings at the position and has yet to commit an error there.
Granberg, 26, was originally selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2018 amateur draft out of Dallas Baptist University. As a college senior, the Colorado native signed with the club for just $40,000 and made his professional debut for the Lowell Spinners that summer.
Nearly four years to the day after making his pro debut, Granberg earned a promotion from High-A Greenville to Portland last June. Since that time, he has slashed .299/.356/.479 with a 129 wRC+ in 83 games (340 plate appearances) for the Sea Dogs while playing first base and all three outfield positions.
Granberg, who turns 27 in September, is not regarded by any major publication as one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system, which is understandable given his age. That said, he has drawn some attention on account of his unique approach at the plate and could be working his way towards a promotion to Triple-A Worcester at some point this summer. Only time will tell.
(Picture of Devlin Granberg: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)