Grullon's 1.148 OPS since the start of July is the fourth-highest among all minor-league hitters, The Athletic Philadelphia reports.
It's been quite the season at the plate for the 22-year-old catcher. After posting an OPS below .700 for five straight seasons, Grullon's reputation seemed to have been locked in as a glove-first backup catcher at best. Suddenly, he's hit .299/.337/.574 with 21 homers for Double-A Reading this year. Reading has been known to inflate the stats of mediocre hitters, but Grullon had already had one shot at the level and hit just .229/.270/.410. If the offensive improvements stick upon a presumed promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley next season, Grullon has a chance to be a long-term starting catcher in the major leagues.
Grullon won the Eastern League Home Run Derby on Tuesday, hitting 24 homers to win the title, The Athletic Philadelphia reports.
Long considered a glove-only backup catching prospect, Grullon has finally started to show something with the bat this season, leading all Eastern League catchers with 12 homers. His .287/.316/.520 slash line is quite good, translating to a 126 wRC+ even after accounting for the hitter-friendly home park where he plays for Reading. Many Phillies prospects have shown promise at the plate at Reading only to flounder at higher levels, so Grullon will have to continue to prove himself once he's eventually promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but he's certainly done what he can to raise his profile so far this season.
Grullon has three homers in his first 50 plate appearances this season for Double-A Reading.
Grullon is a classic glove-first backup catcher prospect, hitting just .240/.289/.357 in his six-year minor-league career. He'll need to do at least something with the bat in order to even be a big-league backup, though, but it appears as though he might finally be showing something. He's hitting just .200, but he can likely blame a .200 BABIP for that number. A good defender with a bit of pop can be a big-league backup even with a low batting average, and Grullon could now be living up to that profile.
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