In the 27th round of the 2009 MLB draft, the Boston Red Sox selected Reed Gragnani, a shortstop out of Mills E. Goodwin High School in Richmond, Virginia. The young shortstop declined Boston’s offer and headed for the University of Virginia to play for the Cavaliers. After four years of posting impressive numbers in college, including a summer in the Cape Cod League, Boston drafted Gragnani again— this time in the 21st round of the MLB draft. Gragnani accepted and headed for Lowell to start his professional career.
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In Lowell, Gragnani quickly proved that he needed more of a challenge. After 14 games in short-season A ball, Gragnani was hitting .333 with a .411 OBP. In Greenville, Gragnani hit a respectable .259 with a .337 OBP in 38 games. On defense, Gragnani played primarily second base while mixing in some outfield and third base. After a solid showing in Greenville, Boston decided Gragnani would start the 2014 in high-A Salem.
So far this season, Gragnani has taken the Carolina League by surprise hitting .337 in 50 games totaling 184 at-bats while boasting a .433 OBP walking 32 times and striking out just 24 times. Better yet, against right-handed pitching, Gragnani is hitting .371 with a .455 OBP.
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Although he has yet to hit a home run, the second baseman seems like he already proved the Carolina League is too easy for him as well. Perhaps a promotion to AA would suit him well. Unfortunately for Gragnani, he has only been playing second base this year, making it harder for him to get a promotion. Luckily for him, Gragnani has plenty of experience all around the field so he could play a few more to add to his all around value. Also, with Mookie Betts being promoted and Sean Coyle moving away from the position, the second base job appears to be open in Portland and is calling Gragnani’s name.
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As far as his future goes, Gragnani appears to have a bright one. Although he is not a high ceiling guy so to speak, Gragnani is inching his way to the big leagues and could play a role as a valuable utility guy if all goes well. The two most important things that will play into his success are his plate discipline and his versatility. Gragnani is not the flashiest guy on the field hitting bombs or swiping bases, but he certainly gets the job done and does it well.
Overall, Reed Gragnani deserves more credit than he is given. He has really flown under the radar in Boston’s organization but has quietly been building quite an impressive resume.