Prospects on Deck: OF Anfernee Grier – Diamondbacks
With such a talented squad taking the field day in and day out for the Kane County Cougars, it should come as no surprise that they are one of the front runners to lock up a playoff spot after the first half of the Midwest League season concludes.The Cougars have found themselves in the playoff hunt largely because of their dominant pitching staff, but that doesn’t mean the team in Geneva, Illinois lacks talented position players. While the defense has been okay, it is no secret that the offense, at least on paper, has had its fair share of struggles. However, the potential is there for the majority of the Cougars position players, I see that potential in one player in particular. That player is Kane County outfielder, Anfernee Grier.
Grier is originally from Phenix City, Alabama where he had an outstanding prep career for Russell County High School before he was drafted in the 39th round of the 2013 draft by the Detroit Tigers. Although I am sure he was flattered by the offer, the number one ranked player in the state of Alabama at the time decided he was going to pass on the offer from the Tigers in Detroit to stay in his home state and honor his commitment to join the Tigers in Auburn.
After leading the Auburn baseball team in numerous categories year in and year out, racking up accolade after accolade and honor after honor, Grier received the ultimate reward during the 2016 draft when the Arizona Diamondbacks took him in the competitive balance round. His outstanding college career in the deepest and most competitive conference in college baseball took him from the 39th round in 2013 to the 39th overall pick in 2016.
His best tool is considered to be his speed, both on the base paths and in the field. Grier posses a good arm, one that scouts think pairs well with his ability to man centerfield. The bat was considered to still be developing when Grier was going into the draft and at this point I would say it is developing well. He has a consistent and smooth swing which will only lead to more contact down the road and the power will improve as he continues develop.
Grier spent all but four of his 24 games in his first season of pro ball as a member of the Northwest League’s Hillsboro Hops. During that short 2016 campaign he slashed .236/.277/.337 with two home runs, eight runs batted in, and nine stolen bases. So far in 2017, he is slashing .278/.367/.345 with one homer, 12 runs batted in, and 14 stolen bases.
Grier has been successful at every stop of his baseball career and he appears to be on the right track to continue his successes in pro ball as well. The Alabama native already has many of the right tools in place to be a big league center fielder one day and as the rest of those tools continue to grow, he will be in the rumblings for a call up to the show in the near future.
Featured Image Courtesy of Mathew Carper/Legends on Deck