The emergence of Vaughn Grissom for the Atlanta Braves in 2023 was a major storyline. Not seen as a top prospect by the national media, Grissom worked his was from High-A Rome to Atlanta in 2022. Now, he reached Atlanta due to injuries to Ozzie Albies and Orlando Arcia and because the Robinson Cano situation did not pan out. However, he put himself in the position to be called up due to his stellar play.
A trendy topic of conversation in some circles is should the Atlanta Braves consider trading Vaughn Grissom this winter?
Now, I am not advocating for a Vaughn Grissom trade. I am simply looking at this topic from both sides. Why the Braves should consider trading Grissom and why they should hold onto Grissom.
Why the Atlanta Braves Should Trade Vaughn Grissom
The simplest reason here is, his value is the highest it will ever be. Coming into the year, the Braves certainly believed in Vaughn Grissom but he was not as well known around the league. He was not viewed as a top 100 prospect like a Michael Harris.
However, he climbed up prospect rankings and made a name for himself around the league with in 2022. Especially, with how he handled himself with his fast rise to the major leagues. In 74 games at High-A Rome, Grissom hit .312/.404/.487 11 HR, 62 R, 55 RBI, 20 SB with a .406 wOBA & 146 wRC+. This led to a promotion to AA Mississippi where he .363/.408/.516 3 HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 7 SB with a .413 wOBA & 147 wRC+. Leading the Braves to feel confident enough to give Grissom a shot in the majors when the opportunity presented itself.
Across 41 major league games, Vaughn Grissom would hit .291/.353/.440 5 HR, 24 R, 18 RBI, 5 SB with a .345 wOBA & 121 wRC+. He also shined on the basepaths with a 1.9 BsR and 0.9 UBR.
Credit to Ron Washington for waving Vaughn Grissom around, but he doesn’t get the chance unless the 21-year-old rookie runs a Top 20 fastest first-to-home time this year, hustling around in 9.58 seconds! pic.twitter.com/9hp0ikLfXD
— Ethan Sands (@EjElite1) August 19, 2022
Defensively there are still some questions about where he will end up but the bat looks like one that will play at the major league level. There will still be some growing pains but the bat will help him find a spot in a lineup. This does lead to the second point though.
Grissom can play second, shortstop, third, and has worked in the outfield to maybe play some left field in the future. The Braves have second and third locked up, and figure lock up the shortstop position this winter. Maybe Grissom can slide into left field with some work. There is also the idea he could be a super utility guy for the Braves and move all around the diamond.
However, maybe a team would value Vaughn Grissom in a full time role in a set position? With Grissom’s value being at an all time high, moving him could allow the Braves to fill a hole on the roster with a more natural fit.
Why the Braves Should Not Trade Vaughn Grissom
Simply, it is usually a good rule of thumb to not trade a good player. If the Atlanta Braves believe in Vaughn Grissom long-term, it makes sense to keep him around. A report came out the other day that the Braves think some work with Ron Washington could turn Grissom into an everyday defensive shortstop.
That feels like a telling quote that they believe in the young middle infielder. Grissom’s defense was not great with a -3 DRS, -4 runs prevented, and -5 OAA at second base. Shortstop is a tougher defensive position but if the Alex Anthopoulos and the Braves believe he can improve then I tend to trust them.
Even if he does not turn into an everyday shortstop, him improving defensively and being able to play second, short, third, and even left field could be an asset for the Braves. Depth is never a bad thing and Grissom could be huge in a potential super utility role. He could give regulars like Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Matt Olson (Riley at first and Grissom at third), and others days off in the field and allow them to DH.
Less than a month ago, Vaughn Grissom was in Double A.
Tonight, he homered off Sandy Alcantara. pic.twitter.com/GRBvcmFSSt
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) September 3, 2022
If he can give you serviceable defense with a plus bat, then that is an easy win for the Braves. A guy giving others regular days off in the field with a plus bat is a luxury not every team has. With the right development, Grissom could be that guy.
Grissom will be 22 in 2023 and have six more years of control. No reason to rush to move him. The Braves could have a valuable commodity that can help the team win games in 2023 and beyond. Hopefully, allowing them to play a deeper lineup and make a push for another World Series crown.
The Vaughn Grissom Decision
If there is a trade that benefits the Atlanta Braves this winter and the team wants Vaughn Grissom, then I would be for it. I would also be a fan of Vaughn Grissom being apart of the Braves organization come 2023. I think Grissom’s breakout 2022 season does afford the Braves with plenty of options and also plenty of questions.
I trust AA and the Braves front office to make the right decision. They have done so more often than not. If they traded Grissom for a long term answer at SS or LF, I would be for that. I would also be fine with the Braves attempting to turn Grissom into a super utility player.
VAUGHN GONE 💪
Vaughn Grissom ambush for the two-run homer. pic.twitter.com/aAiNegvhWX
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) September 7, 2022
I would not be a huge fan of them attaching Grissom to Marcell Ozuna to dump his contract though.
It is an interesting decision for the Braves though. Vaughn Grissom’s bat looks like it could develop into a legit major league bat. However, his trade value will probably never be any higher than it currently is. If I had to currently guess, I think Grissom is a Brave in 2023 (and beyond) but it will certainly make for an interesting storyline to follow.