2022 Braves Player Review: Vaughn Grissom

For a lot of teams, in a lot of seasons, what Vaughn Grissom did this year would’ve been an incredibly noteworthy rookie season.

The 21-year-old infielder debuted in August, launching a home run and stealing a base in his first game, an 8-4 win for the Atlanta Braves in Boston. He kept up that stellar play for quite some time, notching hits in eight of his first nine games.

His rookie season likely wouldn’t have yielded much Rookie of the Year notice as he barely cleared the at-bats threshold, even if he weren’t on the same team as the top two finishers for the award. But it was impressive, even if it didn’t match what teammates Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider accomplished.

In 41 games and 141 at-bats, Grissom slashed .291/.353/.440 while covering second base for the injured Ozzie Albies. He was also good for five home runs, 18 RBIs, 5 stolen bases and 24 runs scored. Those are fine numbers for a quarter of a season, essentially.

He struggled a bit down the stretch, both offensively and defensively, which resulted in losing the primary second base duties to Orlando Arcia for the playoffs. Grissom went hitless in limited action in the National League Divisional Series loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Looking forward, it’s difficult to know exactly where Grissom fits in for the Braves. Albies will, without a doubt, take primary second base duties back when he returns for the 2023 season. Grissom did play shortstop in the minors, logging 161 games in that spot over three seasons before he hit the bigs. That – coupled with recent workouts with Ron Washington – has led some to speculate that he could potentially fill the vacancy left by free agent Dansby Swanson.

Still others have pointed to longstanding scouting wisdom that Grissom wouldn’t stick at shortstop long-term. Reports that Grissom – who also played third base in the minors – had been working out in the outfield during the season has fueled a perception that he has a future as some sort of super-utility player for the Braves.

While it’s certainly easy to see where Grissom could fill that role, it doesn’t seem likely that such a slot would be the fit for the Braves, at least not under current leadership. Brian Snitker is not the type of manager to maximize a player like that, preferring to have his regulars play as much as possible except for catcher and the occasional positional platoon.

Only time will tell where Grissom lands – whether in Atlanta or elsewhere.

24 thoughts on “2022 Braves Player Review: Vaughn Grissom”

  1. A performance oddly reminiscent of early Austin Riley. The lesson being that he needs more time at AAA and needs time to figure it all out (specifically counter the adjustments pitchers made). It may take a year or two. If there is any thought about Grissom replacing Dansby (or move Ozzie to SS and put Grissom at 2B), it won’t be next year. If that’s the plan, we’ll likely see a bridge player, maybe even Arcia, for next year. Anyone think that AA may have been planning two years in advance when trading for Arcia?

    Another interesting question. Would we rather have Dansby or Nimmo? I’m wondering how we’d be with Nimmo in LF and Arcia at SS, for example. Then in 2024, Ozzie/Grissom at 2B/SS (or vice versa).

  2. Roger, I like your thinking. I do think AA looks ahead when he makes these decisions. Arcia was raking at AAA while receiving an MLB salary. Then he got called up and couldn’t adjust. After he adjusted, he played a good part-time role. His swing looks great but gets a little long.

    There’s nothing on his Statcast page that will wow you, but there’s a whole lot worse than an average SS defender that can carry a mid-700s OPS. If Braves go big at reliever, SP, and LF, I’ll take Arcia with a utility backup (Grissom).

  3. They’re going to throw $180-220 MM at somebody. The way you get a big payroll is paying a lot of people… unless you’re the Angels.

  4. Greetings from Virginia Beach & Happy Post-Turkey Day…

    I’ll take Dansby, but Nimmo is an interesting idea…

    Although I find his Pete Rose routine slightly annoying, I always appreciated Nimmo’s ability to get on base. He was once a very shaky CF, but he’s became better-than-decent defender. He may not have the same value in LF for us, but he definitely isn’t going to replace the guy we already have there. I’m sure he’d do fine in LF.

    To be honest, he was one of the better Mets in recent times. An under-the-radar guy, maybe, but he’s become a good MLB player.

    On another note… HBTD?

    After getting skulldragged at home, does Ohio St. still make the playoff? Or are they simply assigned to play UGA (assuming a win over LSU next week) in the Peach Bowl?

  5. Like Harris, Grissom hits far too many groundballs. He was in the midst of a swing change at A+ – and for once in the Braves system it was working! – when he got moved to first AA then the majors. His swing plane then slowly degenerated as the year wore on and he hit way more grounders. I hope he spends a couple of months minimum at Gwinnett to get him back to where he was in May/June.

  6. Strength of schedule suggests that even a 1 loss TCU team that loses in their conference championship game should make it to the playoffs over Ohio State or USC. USC’s SoS is 56th and Ohio State is 37th. Even before playing in their conference championship, TCU has an SoS of 14.

  7. I would think OSU would get the nod, but Bama’s two close losses are way better than OSU’s blowout loss, IMO.

  8. Unfortunately, I think #5 OSU is a no-brainer over #6 Bama. If Bama had beaten LSU, things might be different. One freaking point. But even against Auburn, the defense looked bad. Bottom line is I think Bama has a championship worthy offense even without big-time WRs, but the defense is merely good but not great.

    Like it or not, GA, Mich, and TCU are locks regardless of conf championships and the last spot is either USC or OSU.

  9. @ 11- I agree with you about Alabama. They are loaded with talent on defense, but their defensive coaching is lacking . I think Saban needs to let both his offensive and defensive coordinators walk after this year. O’Brien has the best qb in the nation and some excellent running backs, but a very limited power running game.

    Kansas State is not highly regarded by some, so a TCU loss could knock them out of it. A loss by USC will definitely knock them out. If both of those things happen, I would put the odds at about 50% for a Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, and Alabama playoff. I don’t see both of those things happening and I don’t really think Bama deserves to make the playoffs anyway.

    I have no idea what formula is used for strength of schedule. One ranking has Bama with the #1 SoS and another has them at #25.

  10. They’ll be using this season to justify/endorse an expanded playoff format. I have no idea who the best 4 teams are, and I think you can make a case that upsets wouldn’t be surprising at all. Bama is like 5 seconds away from being undefeated, and also the same distance away from having 4 losses. I think they’d be a very scary playoff matchup for any team out there, flaws notswithstanding.

    My Dawgs still have work to do. We owe LSU some payback for some previous SECCG beat downs. (If we somehow lose then the chaos will be interesting – but let’s not go there).

  11. Yup, in one game, Bama still could beat anyone. Their QB is always gonna be better. But, truth be told, Bama’s ’22 regular season was similar to its ’21 season… lotsa close games. (Of course, an SEC schedule is no joke.)

    In ’21, they had one-score wins vs UF, LSU, Arkansas & Auburn, plus a last-play loss at TAMU.

    This year, they had one-score wins vs Texas, TAMU & Ole Miss, plus last-play losses at UT & LSU.

    FWIW, if you want a blueprint of how UGA will try to defend LSU, check out the LSU/Arkansas game from a few weeks ago. If LSU’s QB Daniels can beat you from the pocket, God bless him. Just don’t let him get loose running the ball too much. (Also, their LB Perkins is quite a player on D.)

  12. I don’t want to inflame… but as an Auburn fan, that’s one of, if not the worst good Alabama teams that I’ve seen. Other than Young and Anderson, I wasn’t very impressed. They shouldn’t sniff the playoff.

  13. Yeah, I think this conversation highlights that we really don’t need a 12-team playoff since the 4th spot discussion is centered around a bunch of flawed teams yet again.

    With that said, the #1 team doesn’t look unbeatable this year, so that’s at least a step in the right direction.

  14. And yet, they’re unbeaten. Imagine that.

    If you’re going by looks, it really depends on which games you were watching. Against the highest-ranked teams UGA played (Oregon, USC & UT), they won by a combined 124-23.

    I’d add Dallas Turner to that list.

    FWIW, I don’t love the 12-team playoff. I’d prefer eight or six (with two byes).

  15. @ 15 – I mostly agree with you. We are significantly better at running back and slightly better in the offensive line than last year, but our receivers are average at best, compared to being really good last year. On paper I thought our pass rush this year was going to be outstanding, but as has been the case every year with Golding as the DC, we’ve greatly underperformed. I think the talent level is still as high as anyone in the nation, but execution is not there. That’s why I’m a strong proponent of canning both coordinators.

  16. UGA’s offense barely ever gets into the conversation when discussing matchups. If they bring the full playbook they’re pretty hard to stop. Will come down to minimizing turnovers, as always. We’ve been careless with the ball in our bad wins.

  17. I agree on both coordinators. I’ve said it before but Bama hasn’t had a great defense since Kirby left (although Pruitt was OK). I think the offensive play calling has been mediocre to atrocious.

  18. #19
    And despite its #1 scoring defense, not a crazy amount of forced TOs (5 fumbles, 8 INTs). They’re -3 in TO margin overall.

    Aside from a unique battle of the brands, a UGA/USC semi could be an interesting watch: A very balanced team vs. a fairly unbalanced team (talented QB/WR combo, but not a lotta D).

    BTW, USC is +23 in TO margin, best in the nation.

  19. Great Moments in Auburn Athletics…

    Hugh Freeze, meet Bruce Pearl… Um, you fellows have a few things in common.

    OK, OK, Bruce, not everything…

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