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Thread: Prospect Profile: Chris Gruler

  1. #1
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Prospect Profile: Chris Gruler

    Name: Christopher R. Gruler
    Date of Birth: September 11, 1983
    Height: 6'3"
    Weight: 200 lbs.
    Bats: right
    Throws: right
    Position: starting pitcher
    Team: GCL Reds
    Number: 43
    Draft: 1st round (#3 overall) by Cincinnati Reds in 2002 amateur draft
    School: Liberty Union H.S. (California)
    How Acquired: 2002 amateur draft

    Bio: After signing for a franchise-record 2.5 million dollars, Chris Gruler was on the road to stardom. Johnny Bench was quoted as saying that Gruler's curveball was better than Tom Seaver's. Some have since then said that Gruler was the organization's top choice because of signability, but the organization maintained otherwise. Meanwhile, the Reds took plenty of heat for drafting Gruler over the likes of Scott Kazmir, Prince Fielder, and many others, and four years later, it all appears to be justified.

    In high school, Gruler was throwing 89-95 MPH and receiving great reviews on his baseball makeup, arm strength, and work ethic. In the Pioneer League in 2002, he was dominant, and it didn't take long for a promotion to A-ball. He struggled a bit, but adversity was to be expected for an 18-year-old in A-ball. However, in 2003, after a bout with arm weakness and disastrous performance, he was put on an arm strengthening program. The program never panned out, and Gruler had to resort to major arthroscopic surgery. Less than a year after the draft, some were already calling the pick a bust. It has since been revealed that Chris Gruler had a frayed rotator cuff at draft time, and the Reds drafted "damaged goods".

    But 2004 was a new year for Gruler and reason for optimism. His fastball had reportedly been getting as high as 88 MPH, and the command of his changeup was better than ever. Although his control and velocity were reasons for concern, it helped him with his secondary pitches and taught him how to "pitch". But again, injuries couldn't be avoided as he had problems with a straned oblique muscle followed by undergoing Tommy John surgery.

    Unfortunately, 2005 was more of the same as he had another shoulder surgery to clean out and loosen the shoulder joint. Professionally, he didn't pitch in a single game.

    Career Stats:
    Code:
    W L  ERA  G GS CG SHO SV   IP  H  R  ER HR BB SO
    2 4 5.20 23 21  0  0   0 79.2 69 53  46  3 51 63
    2006 Stats:
    Code:
    Team                   W L  ERA  G GS CG SHO SV   IP  H  R  ER HR BB SO
    Gulf Coast League Reds 0 0 0.00  1  1  0  0   0  0.0  1  0   0  0  2  3
    The future isn't bright for Chris Gruler, but the door hasn't officially shut on him yet. He's off to a good start for the GCL Reds (for whatever that's worth), and he's still young (22 years old). Only time will tell how big of a bust this highly-touted draft pick is, if at all.

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  3. #2
    Lover of Trivialities Doc. Scott's Avatar
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    Re: Prospect Profile: Chris Gruler

    Very nice writeup. The odds may look long on Gruler, but there's a first time for everything.

  4. #3
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    Re: Prospect Profile: Chris Gruler

    The funny thing about the Bowden era "arm injuries" drafts, is that everytime a prospect seemed to be making strides or was picked high(Gruler), he would "tear a labrum".

    1998: Josh Hall. Started getting hot in 2003 in AA, but alas, he complained of shoulder weakness throughout the 2003 season and eventually found out he tore his labrum, pretty much ending any chance to make it in the big leagues.
    1999: Ty Howington. He was a risky pick to start, though after a big 2001, Howington complained of shoulder weakness in April 2002, finally was the labrum again for another Reds minor leaguer.
    2001: Bobby Basham. Big 2002, once again complained of shoulder weakness in spring 2003................which of course.......labrum again.
    2002:Chris Gruler. Complained of shoulder problems in the fall of 03, in 04 had...........labrum surgury.
    2003: Gardner and Pauly. Hotshot 2004 seasons turned into dust as both complained of "shoulder weakness" in 2005 which of course led to the BIG L!!!! Though Pauly's was only partial...................

    I don't know what Bowden and his underlings were doing with evaluation, but they had to set a record for labrum injuries with their pitching prospects. I mean, MERCY. I suspect a young pitcher here or there will have shoulder problems(just hope it is not the studs), but a MAJORITY?? Again, MERCY.

  5. #4
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Prospect Profile: Chris Gruler

    Chris Gruler's performance against the GCL Red Sox wasn't as encouraging as his first outing this year. He picked up the loss while giving up four runs (three earned) over three innings. He seemed to continue his struggle with control (he hit a batter, in fact), but the good news is that his strikeout rate is remaining high thus far. Gruler also had a throwing error.

    Career Stats:
    Code:
    W L  ERA  G GS CG SHO SV   IP  H  R ER HR BB SO
    2 5 5.33 24 22  0   0  0 82.2 73 57 49  4 53 67
    2006 Stats:
    Code:
    Team                   W L  ERA G GS CG SHO SV  IP  H  R ER HR BB SO
    Gulf Coast League Reds 0 1 5.40 2  2  0  0   0 5.0  5  4  3  1  4  7

  6. #5
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Prospect Profile: Chris Gruler

    Gruler had another bad start a few days ago. Here are his updated stats:

    Career Stats:
    Code:
    W L  ERA  G GS CG SHO SV IP  H  R ER HR BB SO WHIP
    2 5 5.33 25 23  0   0  0 86 79 61 51  4 55 67 1.56
    2006 Stats:
    Code:
    Team                   W L  ERA G GS CG SHO SV  IP  H  R ER HR BB SO WHIP
    Gulf Coast League Reds 0 1 5.40 3  3  0   0  0 8.1 11  8  5  1  6  7 2.04

  7. #6
    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Prospect Profile: Chris Gruler

    Stick a fork in him.

    He done.

  8. #7
    Member 15fan's Avatar
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    Re: Prospect Profile: Chris Gruler

    Quote Originally Posted by Aronchis
    The funny thing about the Bowden era "arm injuries" drafts, is that everytime a prospect seemed to be making strides or was picked high(Gruler), he would "tear a labrum".
    Was Justin Gilman also a labrum casualty?

  9. #8
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Prospect Profile: Chris Gruler

    Gruler has pitched two games since my last update. In the most recent game (July 15th), he pitched an inning and two-thirds without giving up a run. I haven't seen any official reports to say so, but my guess is that he had to leave the game early for reasons that were mentioned in another thread (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49512). Here are his updated stats:

    Career Stats:
    Code:
    W L  ERA  G GS CG SHO SV   IP  H  R ER HR BB SO WHIP
    3 5 5.07 27 25  0   0  0 92.2 85 62 52  4 57 71 1.54
    2006 Stats:
    Code:
    Team                   W L  ERA G GS CG SHO SV   IP  H  R ER HR BB SO WHIP
    Gulf Coast League Reds 1 1 3.60 5  5  0   0  0 15.0 17  9  6  1  8 11 1.67

  10. #9
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    Re: Prospect Profile: Chris Gruler

    Gruler most likely retired. He can't keep his shoulder healthy. Richie Gardner will probably be next. I guess we can have the Reds hall of prospect shoulder flameouts with Bowden in the background.................

  11. #10
    Kmac5 KoryMac5's Avatar
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    Re: Prospect Profile: Chris Gruler

    Tough watching Gruler, Gardener, and Pauley go up in smoke.


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