As a 14th round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, Zack Granite has always been a bit of an after thought.
While he may have well-above average speed (grade 65), he simply doesn’t have the power (grade 30) to land atop the list of the Twins’ top prospects. Even after winning the Twins’ Minor League Player of the Year Award in 2016, with a triple slash line of .295/.350/.382 and 56 steals at Double-A Chattanooga, Granite only ranks as the team’s 23rd best prospect according to MLB.com. Even in Twinkie Town’s 2017 Community Prospect Vote, he only ranked 17th.
When Granite started this year injured, he lost even more stock in the minds of many. But oh boy has he proven them wrong.
Between June 1st and June 17th Granite went 34-71 (a batting average of .479) with 9 doubles, 3 triples, a 7/10 K/BB ratio, and 7 stolen bases in 11 attempts. He had a 17-game hitting streak until the second game of a double header yesterday—Sunday, June 18th—and is leading the International League in average, hits, extra base hits, total bases, and triples since June 2nd.
That is impressive.
Granite still lacks power but a decent comparison for him is that of former Twin Ben Revere. Granite does have a better arm in the outfield than Revere, though, and was taken a whopping 13 rounds later than Revere (yes, Revere was a first round pick).
At 24 years old, Granite has little left to prove in the minors, and he’s already on the 40 man roster, too. He could easily compete with Eddie Rosario for the starting left fielder position, considering this factoid:
Eddie Rosario has the lowest career on-base percentage (.292) of any left fielder with 1,000+ plate appearances during the past 100 years.— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) June 10, 2017
While Rosario’s recent 3 home run game proves he can be such an exciting player, expect Granite to be given a shot if Rosario begins to slump. I’m not calling for Rosario’s head here, as he still provides value with some power at the end of the lineup, but adding even more speed to the outfield and a more consistent On Base Percentage does have its merits.
Granite will surely be called up in September, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him stealing bases for the Twins some time even sooner.