The waiting game is over for third baseman Michael Gretler. With the 1168th pick in the 39th round the Oregon State junior was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gretler was also drafted out of high school in the 39th round by the Boston Red Sox, but declined to sign at that time.
Gretler arrived at OSU in 2015 to high expectations, after batting .500 with a 1.597 OPS (!) as a senior in Bonney Lake, WA. Although Gretler started 31 games as a freshman, it took him some time to adjust to college pitching. Although he gained confidence as the season went on, his final line was only .171/.267/.181. As a sophomore, Gretler filled a reserve/utility role for the Beavers and flashed a vastly improved bat (albeit in fewer PAs), slashing .339/.391/.448.
Expectations were again high going into Gretler’s junior campaign, and he has not disappointed. His hitting remained solid and he locked down the starting third base job for the Beavers. He cracked 4 triples to go along with 4 home runs, while hitting .300/.358/.448 and playing sparkling defense.
Although he hasn’t received as much press as teammates K.J. Harrison and Nick Madrigal, Gretler has been one of the number-one ranked Beavers’ most important, most consistent, bats this spring. If he decides to sign with the Pirates, and the hit tool continues to develop, Gretler may end up being one of Pittsburgh’s more pleasant surprises out of the 2017 draft.