Orioles infield prospect Cadyn Grenier had struggled to produce at the plate prior to this year, but his bat is starting to catch up with his defense thanks to a hot streak he hadn’t had before in pro ball.
The right-handed hitting Grenier was selected 37th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft out of Oregon State. The 5-foot-11, 188-pound infielder is currently playing for Double-A Bowie. Grenier, who turns 25 in October, is hitting .285/.363/.431 with three homers and 22 RBIs entering play June 23. He is hitting .329/.405/.425 in June.
Grenier has long been tired of his reputation as an all-glove, no-bat player. He wanted to prove people wrong heading into the season.
“Hearing that all the time, it is what it is,” Grenier said on Glenn Clark Radio June 17. “I can’t control what people say. All I can do is try to go out and continue to improve every day and basically prove what they’re saying is wrong.”
The beginning of the 2021 season Grenier was not at his best — he hit .234 in May — but something that clicked for him during the season. He credited the Baysox coaching staff, which includes manager Buck Britton and hitting coach Ryan Fuller, for his turnaround.
“Honestly, I’ve got some really good coaches around me that have been helping a lot,” Grenier said. “It got to one day when I was having one conversation with our manager Buck, it relaxed me so much, it allowed me to just have confidence that I could go out and just play my game. … I started to see things a little bit more clearly on what I needed to do to get out of that funk.”
Grenier hit .216/.297/.333 at Low-A Delmarva in 2018, then hit .244/.355/.384 between two levels in 2019. Grenier said he had doubts about whether he could develop into an offensive threat and might be destined to be more of a defensive player.
“I’m not going to lie and say I’m the most happy-go-lucky guy … that’s not just how I am. There have been several times where I’ll just sit there one night and go 0-for-4 with three punchies or something and be like, ‘You know what maybe I am just a defender. Maybe I’ll hit .200 in the big leagues one day,'” Grenier said.
“It’s really tough to get that thought out of your mind,” he added.
Grenier and his Baysox teammates played in front of nearly 5,000 fans on June 15, which marked top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez’s home debut at Bowie. Grenier was excited that so many fans showed up to watch the Baysox play. In addition to Grenier and Rodriguez, top prospects D.L. Hall, and Adley Rutschman play for Bowie as well.
“It’s awesome having guys like Grayson, D.L., and Adley on our team help with getting fans out there because, in all brutal honestly, we don’t draw very well on a normal Tuesday night game,” Grenier said, “so going out [June 15] and having almost 5,000 people there, it feels really good.”
“They all also understand that we are the future of the Orioles and so you see that, ‘Hey these people are looking to us to get to Baltimore to put the team back on the map.’ … You look at that and go, ‘You know what, man, these are our fans,'” Grenier added.
Grenier and Rutschman have a friendship that stretches longer than their bond in Baltimore’s system. Grenier and Rutschman played at Oregon State together in 2017 and 2018. Grenier had nothing but nice things to say about his friend.
“He meets the pitcher before the pitcher gets off the field every inning basically to say, ‘Hey, good job,” Grenier said, “and I think for pitchers that give them the sense that he’s with me and we’re in this together.”
For more from Grenier, listen to the full inteview here:
Photo Credit: William Vaughan/Bowie Baysox