FILE - In this May 31, 2009, file photo, Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal reacts to a call by the umpire after Florida was credited with a run in the fifth inning during the NCAA college baseball tournament regional championship in Gainesville, Fla. Grandal will be a millionaire in a few weeks, a sure-fire first-round pick in Monday's baseball draft. Miami's star catcher has other things on his mind, like the looming NCAA tournament, where FIU's Garrett Wittels is getting much of the attention. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin, File)
While hoping to extend his college career, Yasmani Grandal got word on his professional future: the Hurricanes' star catcher was drafted 12th overall by the Cincinnati Reds as he waited out a rain delay in last night's regional matchup against Texas A&M.
Techically, he's still waiting. Miami was up 3-2 in Coral Gables, with two outs in the bottom of the second inning, when a storm prompted officials to finally suspend the already-delayed game.
That means the 'Canes will now have to wait until Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. to play for a shot at the Florida Gators in the super regional -- a time Jim Morris isn't exactly going to be thrilled out, because he knows you have to work. But back to Grandal.
Many experts predicted the senior would go 4th or 5th, but signability concerns saw him slide a few notches. It doesn't matter, because he'll likely get whatever money he's asking (rumored to be around $6 million): Grandal is arguably the top position player in the country, and may have garnered more attention at home if all the available local baseball coverage didn't go to one Garrett Wittels.
(As Greg Cote points out, Wittels' hitting streak put his batting average at .412, but Grandal's was .422, one point shy of the school record. His slugging percentage (.754) and on-base percentage (.545) were 153 and 135 points higher than any other Hurricane. That's not too shabby -- nor is his his .994 fielding percentage, among the best in the nation for catchers.)
While Cincinnati may not be a town every Cuban native dreams of, the selection bodes well. Four of the Reds' last six top draft picks are playing in the major leagues, proving the clubs' scouts know what they're doing.
"It's such a hard position to find," said Chris Buckley, the Reds' senior director of amateur scouting. "There's so few everyday catchers across the minor leagues, or even in the major leagues, that we just didn't think we could pass on him."
Hopefully Texas A&M feels differently. The 'Canes haven't been eliminated from the postseason at home since 1990.
Janie Campbell is a Florida native who believes in the pro-set and ballpark hot dogs. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the internet.