Grandal hopes to start drawing more walks

Grandal hopes to start drawing more walks

Grandal hopes to start drawing more walks
SAN DIEGO -- For all the things rookie catcher Yasmani Grandal has done at the plate and behind it since his promotion from Triple-A on June 30, there's one thing he'd like to start doing more of -- drawing walks.

Coming in to Saturday night's game, scheduled to be his 15th Major League start, Grandal had not yet worked a base on balls in 59 at-bats.

He had 37 in 231 plate appearances at Triple-A Tucson this season. In 2011, his first full professional season, Grandal had 59 walks in 441 plate appearances while in the Reds' system.

"Oh yeah, I'm conscious of it," Grandal said of the statistic. "I'm not worried about it. All I'm trying to do is make contact, that's something that's going to come with time."

That contact-first approach represents a shift from Grandal's Minor League mentality, a difference dictated by the high quality of the hurlers he's facing in the Majors.

"Guys make better pitches here, so if it's around the zone, I'm hitting it. I'm looking to hit early in the count," Grandal said. "In the Minor Leagues, I was so confident that I was either going to get a hit or get a walk that I was a little bit more patient."

The aggressiveness has worked for Grandal so far, as the switch-hitter is boasting a .288 average, five homers, and 10 RBIs in 17 games. But the 23-year-old believes that the return of that patience that made him such a menace in the Minors will mean he's really settled in.

"You see a lot of guys that come up don't have a lot of walks until their second or third year -- I think it's a common thing," Grandal said. "So if you see me start to walk a few times, you know I'm good."