Neil Devlin "Catching Up" with Former Holy Family Grad Devlin Granberg


Neil Devlin
Senior Writer

In early June, Devlin Granberg admittedly “was having a stressful day.”

He had just finished his senior season for Dallas Baptist, which made it a little awkward in terms of the Major League Baseball amateur draft. “Senior signs,” as he put it, frequently get lowballed by big-league clubs. A bunch of teams called and made offers, but Granberg passed.

But representatives of Boston called after the fifth round, asked if he would sign for X amount if he was still on the board, and Granberg said yes. He signed shortly after being chosen.

Just like that, the former star at Holy Family in Broomfield joined the Red Sox, the team with the best record in the game in 2018, the team with one of the most-storied stadiums (Fenway Park) and the team that’s legendary throughout New England.

What’s more, Granberg also is a rare position player from Colorado drafted highly. After, as most in-state football prospects are linemen, baseball players in the Rockies more often than not are pitchers.

“Really stressful,” Granberg said earlier this week about dealing with the draft. “‘But, oh, it was really cool. I was actually down in Dallas with (his teammates) and we had just finished up playing the regional. And being there with all of the guys, it was pretty surreal. It was just a really cool feeling.”

Granberg was coming off a monster season. A self-described skinny “stick” who played shortstop for the Tigers as a schoolboy and led them to consecutive Class 3A Colorado championships from 2013-14, Granberg has filled out to 6-foot-2, 220 pounds and evolved into a power hitter who also carries a high average. In fact, to go along with 13 home runs and 70 runs batted in, he batted a blistering .443 to set a school record. He was the Joe Carter Missouri Valley Conference player of the year and earned his second consecutive conference batting title.

Earlier, Granberg, born in Englewood and whose family resides in Hudson, began his college career at Creighton, left when the coach who recruited him also went elsewhere, and spent a year at Cisco College in Texas, where he sparked the Wranglers to a fifth-place showing in the National Junior College Division I World Series. On top of a strong regular season, he batted a whopping .688 in the series. It tied him with three others, including Kirby Puckett, for highest batting average.

After signing with the Red Sox, he joined the Lowell (Mass.) Spinners, for the Class A Short Season in the New York-Penn League. And he was productive – as the cleanup hitter, he batted .300 in 61 games with four homers, 29 RBIs and 18 doubles. He had a slugging percentage of .435 and an on-base percentage of .383.

He also made the league’s All-Star team and was switched to first base.

“They want to move guys around,” Granberg said of today’s pro coaches and managers. “They’ll say, ‘Let’s see if that guy can play first or if that guy can play center.’ There’s a developmental mindset. Guys get moved around and they say, ‘He looks kind of good over there or he needs more reps.’”

As for the new level’s pitching, he said he wasn;t overwhelmed and “it wasn’t as much of a jump” from college as he originally thought as it was “more like the average is better and there was more of it.”

Plus, he said, “the 34(-ounce) metal bat (that he used in college) is way different the 34 wood. It’s just too much.”

However, chasing his baseball dream isn’t. He’ll soon be headed to Fort Meyers for the Instructional League for three weeks as part of the process of getting better.

“It will be fundamental with coordinators, the hiting guy, the infield guy, the outfield guy,” Granberg said. “I need to work on getting stronger in these areas. They’ll put together a plan for me.”

He said he credits Dallas Baptist “for doing a great job. Its focus is when you get to professional baseball, not if.”