June 2012 Prospect Profile: Cody Grice
One year ago, upon being drafted by the Yankees in the 12th round of the 2011 MLB Draft, Cody Grice admitted that he had never been to New York.
Today, he just a few steps away – sort of.
Grice had a strong junior season at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University last spring, hitting .381 with 23 extra base hits, 59 RBI, and 23 stolen bases in leading the Lakers to a school-record 52-5 mark. That performance earned him NCAA Division II Second Team All-American honors, and a call from the Yankees that made him the No. 387 overall selection.
The center fielder signed almost immediately and made his maiden voyage to the Big Apple, landing with the organization’s Short-Season Class-A team in Staten Island.
"I'm just excited to start playing," Grice told mlive.com upon his signing. “It should be a lot of fun. I've never been to New York, so I'm just excited to get there and get started.”
Get started he did, as the then-21-year-old was a solid all-around performer for a Staten Island team that went on to win the New York-Penn League Championship. Playing alongside other top draft picks like Cito Culver, Philip Wetherell, and Mason Williams, Grice hit .241 with 23 RBI and 11 steals for the Baby Bombers, and excelled defensively while spending time at all three outfield positions.
When camp broke this past April, Grice found himself en route to Extended Spring Training, where he could continue to improve and get ready for wherever he was to land in 2012. That was, until not long ago, set to be Staten Island once again, where he would try to help the Short-Season Yankees to their second straight league title.
But on June 10, Grice’s plans changed, as an injury to Tyler Austin meant that the speedster was instead re-routed to Single-A Charleston – where he would play alongside former Staten Island teammates Mason Williams and Cito Culver, among others – for the time being.
Staten Island’s Richmond County Bank Ballpark is roughly 25 navigable miles from Yankee Stadium, but it takes a journey of more than 2000 miles (via Charleston, Tampa, Trenton, and Scranton) to “get there from here.”
Cody Grice has taken the first steps down that road, and whether he stays in Charleston all season or eventually returns to Staten Island, he at least knows the first part of the path to the Bronx.
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES
More from YES
In Thursday's episode, Chris Shearn talks Knicks-Pacers with Brian Sanborn.
David Wells pitched a perfect game on May 17, 1998. Here's the breakdown.
Sarah Kustok recaps an exciting first season for the Nets in their new home.