||Born: October 29, 1988
Height: 6′ 1″
Drafted: 11th Round, 327th Overall, 2010
How Acquired: Draft
College: University of Virginia
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Grovatt was a top hitter for Virginia his first two years, but slumped as a junior. In fact, he had the lowest batting average among the team’s regulars. He has an unorthodox swing that doesn’t allow for much power; the Pirates may think they can help him make adjustments. Beyond the limited power, he was considered an advanced hitter with good strike zone judgment. He hit well in the wood-bat Cape Cod League in 2009. Grovatt has a strong arm, having shown a 95 mph fastball in pitching briefly. The arm would help him fit well in right. He appeared likely to return to Virginia, but decided to sign a few days before the deadline. As a reason, he mentioned in an interview that he’d torn the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm and was afraid another injury would end his chances of signing a pro contract.
Got into three games at the end of the GCL season.
Played for West Virginia throughout 2011. He evidently made some changes around mid-season. Up to that point, he drew a huge number of walks, but hit for little power, with only one HR. In the second half, his walk total dropped dramatically, his K total rose dramatically, and he hit seven HRs.
First Half: 294/417/416, 1 HR, 44 BB, 39 K in 65 G.
He didn’t have any platoon split. Grovatt played a little in left and center, but mostly in right, showing decent outfield defense and the strong arm. He had 15 outfield assists total. He also showed some base stealing ability.
Grovatt had just a decent season at Bradenton. He evidently decided on a more aggressive approach at the plate, as his walk rate dropped below what it was even in the second half of 2011. The changed approach did not bring more power with it, although he at least didn’t strike out a lot. He struggled with LHPs, hitting only 210/261/316 against them. He batted 271/321/455 against RHPs. Grovatt played mostly left, which is a little odd as a lot of the playing time in right went to non-prospects Carlos Mesa and Andy Vasquez.
Grovatt opened the season as a backup at Bradenton. He was on the disabled list off and on until early July, when he went out for good. When he played, it was mostly in left.
Grovatt will be 25 at the start of the 2014 season. If he returns, it’ll likely be to Bradenton again.