Tucson Padres prospect Grandal called up to San Diego

2012-05-31T22:19:00Z Tucson Padres prospect Grandal called up to San DiegoDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 31, 2012 10:19 pm  • 

Yasmani Grandal got the night off Thursday and figured it was just a normal rest day. He was already starting to prepare for Friday's game and learn about Las Vegas starting pitcher Bill Murphy.

As he was walking off the field, manager Terry Kennedy pulled him aside and let him know he was being called up San Diego. He was given the night off to prevent an injury before the call up.

"I'm just in shock," Grandal said. "I don't even know what to say right now. This is the one thing I've always been focused on."

Grandal called his mom, Maria Gomez, in Miami to tell her the good news. It was after 1 a.m., there and son had no problem waking up mother.

"She was pretty excited," Grandal said. "My stepdad is in Cuba and probably has no idea. He's going to be excited, too."

The catcher was getting congratulation hugs from teammates and well wishes as he packed up his stall in the clubhouse.

Grandal is rated as the organization's third best prospect by mlb.com and was having a stellar season with Tucson. Through 34 games, he was batting .317 with four home runs, 22 runs scored and 23 RBIs. He has a .421 on base percentage and has made big strides defensively behind the plate.

Tucson manager Terry Kennedy said Grandal, a switch-hitter, has also been working on developing more power from the right side of the plate. Kennedy said he has plus-power from the left side and still has a lot of room to develop overall as a player.

Kennedy said Grandal reminds him of former Cardinals, Brewers and Braves catcher Ted Simmons.

"He's improved a lot in his two months here," Kennedy said. "He's worked hard and you can see some improvements. His bat is his biggest strength."

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