ST. LOUIS (BaseballStL) -- At this time last year Randal Grichuk was a newly-acquired outfielder coming over from the Los Angeles Angels. He hadn't even seen AAA yet, let alone the big leagues.
25 Triple-A home runs for later, the Texas native found himself in St. Louis starting in the postseason.
He's a bit more of a celebrity now back home.
"I'm obviously not at [Matt] Holliday or [Adam] Wainwright status, but being from a small town everybody knows who I am," Grichuk said.
Following the tragic loss of Oscar Taveras it appeared Grichuk might get a chance to be the everyday right fielder for the Cardinals in 2015. Then they went out and acquired Jason Heyward from the Braves.
The incumbent's initial reaction was admittedly not all that positive.
"Thoughts off the bat? [This is] not good for me," Grichuk admitted. "But obviously we're here to win a championship and bringing a guy like [Heyward] in is a huge piece to the puzzle."
For obvious reasons, it'll be difficult for Grichuk to find everyday at-bats in 2015. Barring injury, the outfield of Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and Heyward figures to get at least 500 bats apiece.
Speaking Saturday, GM John Mozeliak touched briefly on Grichuk's role. While acknowledging the young outfielder has a shot to make the big club, Mozeliak was clear he doesn't want that to come at the expense of further development.
"When you’re looking at historically how I’ve thought about players like that, I’d much rather them playing every day than getting four or five plate appearances per week," he said. "We still need to focus on development and allow us to make sure he’s progressing in the right way."
But there's always a light on for a guy who's blasted 65 homers in the last three minor league seasons and took Clayton Kershaw deep in Game 1 of the NLDS this past October.
And Randal Grichuk is intent on not letting anyone forget that.