Before Gino DiMaria became the baseball coach at Bishop Gorman this season, he knew Cadyn Grenier’s reputation as a player.
It didn’t take long for Grenier to convince his new coach that his game was more than hype.
Grenier changed games with his bat, glove, speed and arm strength, and was a big reason the Gaels won the Division I state championship this spring. For his efforts, Grenier is the Review-Journal’s state player of the year.
“He’s definitely exactly what he was advertised as,” DiMaria said of his senior shortstop. “He’s just the full package.”
Grenier, named the Gatorade Nevada Player of the Year on Thursday, hit atop the Gorman lineup all season and consistently produced. He posted a .596 on-base percentage, helping jump-start many big innings for the Gaels.
“I’ve always believed our leadoff guy is the most important guy in the lineup, because as he goes we follow, and Cadyn was perfect,” DiMaria said.
Grenier batted .472 and showed plenty of pop with 13 doubles, five triples and six home runs. He drove in 35 runs and scored 66 in helping the Gaels compile a 32-3 record.
DiMaria credited Grenier’s patience at the plate with making him a strong table setter. Grenier walked 31 times in 35 games, helping him boost that on-base percentage.
Once he was on base, his legs made him a threat. Grenier stole 27 bases.
“The thing that makes him so dangerous is when he gets on base, he absolutely knows how to run,” DiMaria said. “He gets good jumps, he knows how to read the pitchers’ moves. Once he gets on, we can do a lot of things.”
Grenier also was an asset in the field, flashing excellent range and showing a strong throwing arm as he often made difficult plays look routine.
“For our pitchers, just knowing his presence was behind them was big for our team,” DiMaria said. “He would make plays in the hole or plays up the middle that you just don’t see at this level. I’ve been coaching for a while. The plays that he made, we just looked at each other as coaches and said ‘Wow.’
“The plays that he made at short were absolutely incredible. He saved a lot of games for us at short.”
Grenier, who has signed with Oregon State and is ranked among the top 200 prospects by Baseball America for the major league draft, also impressed DiMaria with the way he approached the menial tasks, such as field maintenance.
“He’s basically got the biggest name on the field, but you see him dragging, you see him raking,” DiMaria said. “Anything you need, he steps up and does it. He never says no. He never complains. That’s huge with me.”
Grenier also brought a will to win. In the state championship game, the Gaels rallied for four runs in the seventh inning to tie the game and force extra innings. Grenier then won it in the ninth with a solo homer to right field.
“When it comes time for that big moment, he’s the perfect guy you would want there, and he went ahead and got the job done,” DiMaria said.
“I’ve always said if I can have 18 players on my team that want to win as bad as Cadyn, we would be 10 times better than what we are. This kid works hard. He loves the game. Most importantly, he respects the game.”
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4587. Follow him on Twitter: @DamonSeiters.