Cedric De Grandpre was the Braves’ 13th-round draft choice this year out of Florida powerhouse JUCO Chipola JC. De Grandpre is a right-handed pitcher who was one of a handful of 2022 Braves draft picks that used a strong performance in the MLB Draft League to improve their stock going into this year’s draft, and the Braves certainly took notice of this Canadian reliever.
Preseason Report Card
There is no preseason report or ranking of De Grandpre, given that he is a 2022 draftee and one who really only emerged after this season got underway. It was his 16-inning stint in the MLB Draft League, where he struck out 26 batters, that really started to get teams to focus on him as a later-emerging arm projected to pitch out of the bullpen.
What we saw in 2022
We didn’t get to see a ton out of De Grandpre in 2022 because after the draft and signing his contract, he wasn’t able to make his pro debut until August 12th. Still, we got five outings, including two starts, that totaled 8 2⁄3 innings between the FCL and Augusta. In those innings, De Grandpre allowed eight earned runs on nine hits and four walks while striking out 12 batters. It is worth nothing that five of those runs came in a third of an inning in his Augusta debut. It was obviously a very small sample size so no real judgments can really be made, but it was a good sign to see he was able to miss some bats at a rate of better than a strikeout per inning in both the FCL and in Augusta.
This isn’t an easy prediction because the 2023 path for De Grandpre could go a few different ways. There is a chance the Braves keep him as a starter to begin the season. He made two starts in his three Augusta appearances at the end of the season, and he does have intriguing raw stuff. If that is the case, De Grandpre would more than likely start the year back in Augusta, and get a chance to pitch himself into an early promotion to Rome if he succeeds. However De Grandpre is more than likely a future reliever, and the Braves could decide to move him more quickly through a relief role by starting him out in Rome to begin the year.
While some might prefer the quicker ascent of the relief role, De Grandpre is a later-emerging arm from a JUCO that grew up in Canada, so it isn’t out of the question that the Braves decide him gaining some extra innings and experience by starting to open 2023 is of more value to him long-term, even if they see him eventually transitioning to relief anyway.