The Newest Vaughn

pearccol

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We can’t know how Grissom is going to turn out but there’s several data points that cause me to really like his makeup.

This highlight reel shows a young hitter willing/able to do the little things that can create runs. Hitting the other way and laying down a bunt. Attributes that we see too rarely.

I loved his tweet - appreciative, respectful and very aware #dirtywater

And his comment to Anthopolous who had just explained the trade by telling him that the Braves needed pitching, “I could pitch.”

Looks to me that we have traded for a young player who will run through walls to try to help the Sox win. I am definitely rooting for him.
 

brandonchristensen

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I wouldn’t be surprised if he pours himself into 2B training. He’s a little kid being potentially offered the franchise position at 2B. That’s insane.
 

YTF

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I wouldn’t be surprised if he pours himself into 2B training. He’s a little kid being potentially offered the franchise position at 2B. That’s insane.
Yes, the idea that he's coming in from outside the organisation and could potentially nail down a starting position over in house options that have been given the opportunity should motivate ALL of them to work on becoming better defenders at the position.
 

A Bad Man

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Was this translated from Spanish? I am wondering because, this read weird to me, and when you change the word “don’t” to “didn’t” it makes much more sense given the fact he didn’t play second base for PR.
I found the video with Romero’s comments and while my Spanish is extremely rusty, I’m pretty sure Romero said “no lo veo a segundo basé” (“I don’t see him at second,” as in, he has doubts about him playing second).
 

Rovin Romine

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Here are the stats, including games played at different positions from B-Ref.
For me, the important take away is that he has multiple years of exposure to 2B - it's not an entirely new position for him. If you look at the totals on the bottom, he's shown better range, a higher fielding percentage, and less propensity to make errors at 2B than he has at SS. And that remains true if you just compare his MiL 2B and SS numbers.

So apart from one tweet, I'm not seeing the problem here. I mean there could be a problem, but if the Braves thought he might stick at SS, but he preformed better at 2B. . .that seems enough of a green light to me.
 

sezwho

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I'd trust the judgement of Ron Washington over almost anyone else about whether he can play second at the major league level. I searched and I can't see where Romero was ever a coach or manager for Grissom at any level other than in winter ball this year. So he hasn't seen him at 2B as far as I can tell.
….
Hell yeah, certainly over some anonymous internet fart knocker.

If I were one of the litany of maybes and what-ifs hovering around the Red Sox 2nd base job I’d probably rent not buy.
 

SouthernBoSox

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I found the video with Romero’s comments and while my Spanish is extremely rusty, I’m pretty sure Romero said “no lo veo a segundo basé” (“I don’t see him at second,” as in, he has doubts about him playing second).
I find it so odd considering he didn’t play the position for him. File it under curious - to be revisited if things go poorly.
 

Darnell's Son

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I'd trust the judgement of Ron Washington over almost anyone else about whether he can play second at the major league level. I searched and I can't see where Romero was ever a coach or manager for Grissom at any level other than in winter ball this year. So he hasn't seen him at 2B as far as I can tell.
Here are the stats, including games played at different positions from B-Ref. He played a grand total of 26 games at second before he was called up to replace Albies in August of 2022. I can only go by what I saw from watching Braves games in 2022, but he looked decent there. Especially as a 212 year old who missed an entire season of development in 2020. Nothing like he looked at short in 2023. That was a disaster and probably also affected him at the plate.
He's almost as old as you.
 

snowmanny

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In a year-old piece on Ron Washington’s work prepping Grissom for SS in ‘23, Washington comments on Grissom’s growth from the 2B crash course in ‘22 to the offseason/ST work in ‘23:

“He was more or less trying to show you that he was a smart kid and that he knew a little bit about baseball,” Washington said. “But he only was able to do what he knew. When you take what he knew, and you put it at the big league level, he didn't know [anything].
Sounds from that quote that Ron Washington feels that learning how to play Second Base is incredibly hard.
 

gammoseditor

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Sounds from that quote that Ron Washington feels that learning how to play Second Base is incredibly hard.
Ron Washington knows the ins and outs of every infield position and would make any of them sound hard. He’s well known for his fielding instruction. Eric Chavez gave one of his gold gloves to Ron Washington.
 

snowmanny

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Ron Washington knows the ins and outs of every infield position and would make any of them sound hard. He’s well known for his fielding instruction. Eric Chavez gave one of his gold gloves to Ron Washington.
First Base is easy though, right?
 

HurstSoGood

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A friend of mine was working for Atlanta's ML team @ Rome when Vaughn was playing there. So, fwiw, coming from a Front Office guy (as opposed to a scout or coach):
Paraphrasing~
"Vaughn is a nice kid, really good dude. Better fielding than hitting (at the time in 2020-2021) with good fielding instincts. He's young, coachable, w/lots of potential."
Thinks he will be a good player.
 

BaseballJones

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Grissom isn't listed on SoxProspects, so I assume the whole idea is that he's on the major league roster and will play in Boston and not Worcester to open the season, and thus isn't considered a prospect but a full-fledged major leaguer. Fair to say?
 

simplicio

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He lost rookie eligibility in 2022, so he's officially not a prospect and as such not rated as one on soxprospects. But Breslow did seem pretty clear that he got Grissom for Boston regardless.
 

catomatic

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He lost rookie eligibility in 2022, so he's officially not a prospect and as such not rated as one on soxprospects. But Breslow did seem pretty clear that he got Grissom for Boston regardless.
I don’t want to be Eeyore here but I’m increasingly convinced we should pump the brakes on Grissom as an MLB caliber 2B. I’m not just taking the Surstice Manager’s word for it, exclusively, but I’m factoring that into the equation with other admittedly random and flimsy pieces that include; the Braves’ acquisition of Kelenic, their trying him at several spots on the diamond without apparent real success, my fruitless internet search for any of Grissom’s defensive highlights. The Braves generally astute FO… I’ll confess to a grave fear he’s a young man without a position, right now — at least for a team with aspirations to contend. Nick and Pablo should keep oiling their gloves, is my sense.

Now, Wade Boggs arrived with grave doubts around his defense and we all watched as he took the effort to improve himself head-on, but I think calibrating expectations and minimizing pressure (as much as is practically possible) will help everybody. Vaughn might be more of a project than we currently appreciate.
 

Farty Barrett

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I don’t want to be Eeyore here but I’m increasingly convinced we should pump the brakes on Grissom as an MLB caliber 2B. I’m not just taking the Surstice Manager’s word for it, exclusively, but I’m factoring that into the equation with other admittedly random and flimsy pieces that include; the Braves’ acquisition of Kelenic, their trying him at several spots on the diamond without apparent real success, my fruitless internet search for any of Grissom’s defensive highlights. The Braves generally astute FO… I’ll confess to a grave fear he’s a young man without a position, right now — at least for a team with aspirations to contend. Nick and Pablo should keep oiling their gloves, is my sense.

Now, Wade Boggs arrived with grave doubts around his defense and we all watched as he took the effort to improve himself head-on, but I think calibrating expectations and minimizing pressure (as much as is practically possible) will help everybody. Vaughn might be more of a project than we currently appreciate.
Do you think Albies and Riley had a lot to do with the Braves shuffling? If 3rd or 2nd base was the better landing spot, but they had Riley and Albies there long term, then yeah Grissom becomes an experiment… or bait.

Atlanta is the rare team that needed no help whatsoever at those two positions.

Grissom was worth experimenting with. Eventually he netted the Braves Sale. But they liked him enough to give him a cup of coffee and poured resources into him.

Atlanta moving him around could say more about Atlanta’s strengths than Grissom’s weaknesses
 

Rovin Romine

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I don’t want to be Eeyore here but I’m increasingly convinced we should pump the brakes on Grissom as an MLB caliber 2B. I’m not just taking the Surstice Manager’s word for it, exclusively, but I’m factoring that into the equation with other admittedly random and flimsy pieces that include; the Braves’ acquisition of Kelenic, their trying him at several spots on the diamond without apparent real success, my fruitless internet search for any of Grissom’s defensive highlights. The Braves generally astute FO… I’ll confess to a grave fear he’s a young man without a position, right now — at least for a team with aspirations to contend. Nick and Pablo should keep oiling their gloves, is my sense.

Now, Wade Boggs arrived with grave doubts around his defense and we all watched as he took the effort to improve himself head-on, but I think calibrating expectations and minimizing pressure (as much as is practically possible) will help everybody. Vaughn might be more of a project than we currently appreciate.
He's not a sure thing in the sense he has an established ML track record at 2B. Some of that is simply due to his age - he was a 21 year old SS with a total of 22 AA games before he was jumped to the majors as ATL's stopgap 2B in 2022. In 2023, he had some 2B experience in AAA, but was brought up to play SS in ATL which went disastrously for 23 games (in which he also hit poorly).

Perhaps he has some version of the yips and will flame out at 2B for the Sox. Perhaps he just won't make the transition, despite being passible at 2B on the fly in 2022.

But I think the plus signs far outweigh the minuses. 1) he's young. 2) he's always been a SS. 3) everything indicates the Braves internally thought he was a ML option, not a bat only "break glass" type player. 4) he's never flamed out at 2B at any level (by the numbers, he's better there than at SS.) 5) he crushed the ball (offensively) in AAA in 2023.

So yes, break pumping.

But I think we can also pencil him in as a very promising "rookie" 2B. Reasonable expectations defensively are an averageish 2B with possible upside. Offensively, he's projected to do well given his skill set. He only has 210 ML at bats though, so there will likely be an adjustment period.
 

catomatic

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Do you think Albies and Riley had a lot to do with the Braves shuffling? If 3rd or 2nd base was the better landing spot, but they had Riley and Albies there long term, then yeah Grissom becomes an experiment… or bait.

Atlanta is the rare team that needed no help whatsoever at those two positions.

Grissom was worth experimenting with. Eventually he netted the Braves Sale. But they liked him enough to give him a cup of coffee and poured resources into him.

Atlanta moving him around could say more about Atlanta’s strengths than Grissom’s weaknesses
It absolutely could have to do with Atlanta’s strengths rather than his weaknesses, and your assumptions you’ve laid out are the ones a logical person works from. The tumbler that unlocked my deeper suspicions about his glove was the acquisition of Kelenic. Grissom’s bat is one you’d think they’d want in the lineup. They rather belatedly sent him to retool himself defensively as an OF and still went out and got Kelenic. Something about all of these moves suggests to me that something’s potentially off with his defensive development and the Braves were at a serious loss as to what to do with him. They’re also trying to preserve his value as a prospect/trade piece, and while Vaughn’s been plausibly blocked, he also seems to me to be caught in the middle of all these irresolute efforts to find him a defensive home — efforts that began with a lack of institutional confidence in his glove being able to play really anywhere. I’ll be glad to be wrong about this reading of the tea leaves.
 

catomatic

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He's not a sure thing in the sense he has an established ML track record at 2B. Some of that is simply due to his age - he was a 21 year old SS with a total of 22 AA games before he was jumped to the majors as ATL's stopgap 2B in 2022. In 2023, he had some 2B experience in AAA, but was brought up to play SS in ATL which went disastrously for 23 games (in which he also hit poorly).

Perhaps he has some version of the yips and will flame out at 2B for the Sox. Perhaps he just won't make the transition, despite being passible at 2B on the fly in 2022.

But I think the plus signs far outweigh the minuses. 1) he's young. 2) he's always been a SS. 3) everything indicates the Braves internally thought he was a ML option, not a bat only "break glass" type player. 4) he's never flamed out at 2B at any level (by the numbers, he's better there than at SS.) 5) he crushed the ball (offensively) in AAA in 2023.

So yes, break pumping.

But I think we can also pencil him in as a very promising "rookie" 2B. Reasonable expectations defensively are an averageish 2B with possible upside. Offensively, he's projected to do well given his skill set. He only has 210 ML at bats though, so there will likely be an adjustment period.
I agree with essentially all of this, RR, I’m just personally braced for the revelation of deeper defensive inadequacies than we currently appreciate. I assume they’re going to give him the keys to 2B for ‘24, I have deeper misgivings than most about the prospects for success, is all.
 

Rovin Romine

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I agree with essentially all of this, RR, I’m just personally braced for the revelation of deeper defensive inadequacies than we currently appreciate. I assume they’re going to give him the keys to 2B for ‘24, I have deeper misgivings than most about the prospects for success, is all.
I can see that, and I wouldn't be shocked if tehre was some kind of problem. My own worst-case scenario is a poor valuation by the ML club dragging on too long at the ML level. A Hernandez at SS/Cordero anywhere type situation.

But I think if Grissom hits, his defensive issues (if any) will be given a longer chance to be smoothed over. My personal best-guess is that he's essentially a Valdez upgrade in every sense. Maybe not a massive upgrade, but getting to serviceable is not that huge a leap from the Valdez baseline.

We also have a lot of backup depth at the moment - Rafaela, Story (with Rafaela at SS?), Reyes, Valdez, Yorke (or even Mayer) perhaps in the second half? None sure things, but if Grissom implodes, there's probably a fix there.

(If I'm the Sox, instead of a trade or FA, I'd be spending some money on a dedicated 2B coach for Valdez at AAA and starting him there every day. But I also would have done that last year.)
 

Margo McCready

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The fact he’s been developed primarily as a SS in the minors should make it a reasonable assumption he can handle a move down the defensive spectrum. But then, Hanley Ramirez also happened so I suppose there’s no such thing as a sure thing. Assuming no unforeseen roster moves, I think it’s his job to lose and then pivot on the fly if things go off the rails.
 

catomatic

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I can see that, and I wouldn't be shocked if tehre was some kind of problem. My own worst-case scenario is a poor valuation by the ML club dragging on too long at the ML level. A Hernandez at SS/Cordero anywhere type situation.

But I think if Grissom hits, his defensive issues (if any) will be given a longer chance to be smoothed over. My personal best-guess is that he's essentially a Valdez upgrade in every sense. Maybe not a massive upgrade, but getting to serviceable is not that huge a leap from the Valdez baseline.

We also have a lot of backup depth at the moment - Rafaela, Story (with Rafaela at SS?), Reyes, Valdez, Yorke (or even Mayer) perhaps in the second half? None sure things, but if Grissom implodes, there's probably a fix there.

(If I'm the Sox, instead of a trade or FA, I'd be spending some money on a dedicated 2B coach for Valdez at AAA and starting him there every day. But I also would have done that last year.)
Amen to this idea. What's Pokey Reese up to, these days, anyway? Vaughn and Enmanuel could both enroll in Pokey's school of (handling) hard knocks. I want them to put Vaughn in a position to succeed, and based on his '23 call-up, he might benefit from a softer approach with less of a sense that it's his job to lose. Work him in, don't just tell him it's his job to lose. Seems like a nice, if sensitive, kid.
 

Fishy1

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I can see that, and I wouldn't be shocked if tehre was some kind of problem. My own worst-case scenario is a poor valuation by the ML club dragging on too long at the ML level. A Hernandez at SS/Cordero anywhere type situation.

But I think if Grissom hits, his defensive issues (if any) will be given a longer chance to be smoothed over. My personal best-guess is that he's essentially a Valdez upgrade in every sense. Maybe not a massive upgrade, but getting to serviceable is not that huge a leap from the Valdez baseline.

We also have a lot of backup depth at the moment - Rafaela, Story (with Rafaela at SS?), Reyes, Valdez, Yorke (or even Mayer) perhaps in the second half? None sure things, but if Grissom implodes, there's probably a fix there.

(If I'm the Sox, instead of a trade or FA, I'd be spending some money on a dedicated 2B coach for Valdez at AAA and starting him there every day. But I also would have done that last year.)
They're an interesting pair, Valdez and Grissom. Both with defensive concerns, although whether Valdez can stick at 2B is an open question, and Grissom definitely couldn't stick at short, so now his question is if he can even stick at 2B. Valdez has the pop, whereas Grissom has the bat-to-ball skills. I wish ONE of them were a more than adequate defender, but that's life.

I suspect there will be more of a battle for second base than we're presupposing, if only because it seems to remain an open question to me who the more competent hitter and defender will be. I love Valdez's pop and the discipline he showed in the minors, but that's never really shown up in the majors. Grissom's bat-to-ball skills are terrific, on the other hand, and maybe he improves at 2B. A lot to watch.
 

Rovin Romine

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They're an interesting pair, Valdez and Grissom. Both with defensive concerns, although whether Valdez can stick at 2B is an open question, and Grissom definitely couldn't stick at short, so now his question is if he can even stick at 2B. Valdez has the pop, whereas Grissom has the bat-to-ball skills. I wish ONE of them were a more than adequate defender, but that's life.

I suspect there will be more of a battle for second base than we're presupposing, if only because it seems to remain an open question to me who the more competent hitter and defender will be. I love Valdez's pop and the discipline he showed in the minors, but that's never really shown up in the majors. Grissom's bat-to-ball skills are terrific, on the other hand, and maybe he improves at 2B. A lot to watch.
It's worth remembering that Valdez is still pretty young - he just turned 25 a few days ago.

Did we ever get a good breakdown on Grissom's fielding problems - fumbling/throwing?
 

YTF

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Do you think Albies and Riley had a lot to do with the Braves shuffling? If 3rd or 2nd base was the better landing spot, but they had Riley and Albies there long term, then yeah Grissom becomes an experiment… or bait.

Atlanta is the rare team that needed no help whatsoever at those two positions.

Grissom was worth experimenting with. Eventually he netted the Braves Sale. But they liked him enough to give him a cup of coffee and poured resources into him.

Atlanta moving him around could say more about Atlanta’s strengths than Grissom’s weaknesses
Absolutely. We can't know for sure yet, but that's the value of having positional depth in the minors.
 

Fishy1

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It's worth remembering that Valdez is still pretty young - he just turned 25 a few days ago.

Did we ever get a good breakdown on Grissom's fielding problems - fumbling/throwing?
Just the quotes from various sources, the beliefs and un-. He posted a .905 fielding percentage at SS in 2023 (yikes!) and a .973 at 2B in 2022. UZR HATED him at SS and doesn't like him at 2B. More innings at 2B than SS.
76009

For reference, here's our most recent middling defensive infielders advanced fielding stats from FanGraphs. (Luis Urias, who I as recently as six months ago was calling the "crown jewel of the Bloom era").
76010

And here's Enmanuel Valdez:
76011

So Valdez and Grissom put up pretty much identical numbers at 2B. Take that for what it's worth.
 

chawson

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Just the quotes from various sources, the beliefs and un-. He posted a .905 fielding percentage at SS in 2023 (yikes!) and a .973 at 2B in 2022. UZR HATED him at SS and doesn't like him at 2B. More innings at 2B than SS.
View attachment 76009

For reference, here's our most recent middling defensive infielders advanced fielding stats from FanGraphs. (Luis Urias, who I as recently as six months ago was calling the "crown jewel of the Bloom era").
View attachment 76010

And here's Enmanuel Valdez:
View attachment 76011

So Valdez and Grissom put up pretty much identical numbers at 2B. Take that for what it's worth.
Thanks, interesting stuff. And Grissom’s 110 projected wRC+ is coincidentally exactly what Urias put up in 2022.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Just the quotes from various sources, the beliefs and un-. He posted a .905 fielding percentage at SS in 2023 (yikes!) and a .973 at 2B in 2022. UZR HATED him at SS and doesn't like him at 2B. More innings at 2B than SS.
View attachment 76009

For reference, here's our most recent middling defensive infielders advanced fielding stats from FanGraphs. (Luis Urias, who I as recently as six months ago was calling the "crown jewel of the Bloom era").
View attachment 76010

And here's Enmanuel Valdez:
View attachment 76011

So Valdez and Grissom put up pretty much identical numbers at 2B. Take that for what it's worth.
Have to wonder if the big-time struggles at SS last year had some impact on the other side of the ball. Total correlation, obviously, but his 2022 debut went much better while logging most of his innings at 2b.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Just the quotes from various sources, the beliefs and un-. He posted a .905 fielding percentage at SS in 2023 (yikes!) and a .973 at 2B in 2022. UZR HATED him at SS and doesn't like him at 2B. More innings at 2B than SS.
View attachment 76009

For reference, here's our most recent middling defensive infielders advanced fielding stats from FanGraphs. (Luis Urias, who I as recently as six months ago was calling the "crown jewel of the Bloom era").
View attachment 76010

And here's Enmanuel Valdez:
View attachment 76011

So Valdez and Grissom put up pretty much identical numbers at 2B. Take that for what it's worth.
Again, it is worth noting, Grissom had NEVER PLAYED SECOND BASE, when those major league analytics started taking place. Throwing a 21 year old at a new position for the first time at the major league level is just insanely unfair.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Again, it is worth noting, Grissom had NEVER PLAYED SECOND BASE, when those major league analytics started taking place. Throwing a 21 year old at a new position for the first time at the major league level is just insanely unfair.
I'd add that 368 and 168 innings (his MLB totals at 2B and SS) are a small sample size when you're talking about defensive metrics like UZR. Case in point, for his "cup of coffee" appearance in 2006, Dustin Pedroia posted a -3.0 UZR in 172 innings. And he had a full minor league season at 2B under his belt when he posted that, unlike Grissom who'd never fielded the position before (at least professionally).

I don't think Grissom is destined to be a gold glove caliber 2B like Pedroia. But his small sample size metrics so far in the big leagues don't really make a strong argument one way or the other.
 

Fishy1

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Again, it is worth noting, Grissom had NEVER PLAYED SECOND BASE, when those major league analytics started taking place. Throwing a 21 year old at a new position for the first time at the major league level is just insanely unfair.
Yeah, totally fair! Didn't mean to say that was definitely what we were going to see going forward. If anything he was much better there than at SS, and as @Red(s)HawksFan pointed out, it's all very SSS. It's what we're working with, regardless.
 

absintheofmalaise

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I think it was more mental in 2023 both on the field and at the plate. In 2022 when he was called up he know he was just a stopgap until Albies returned from the IL. In 2023 he had already lost the starting SS job to Arcia in ST and he was called up to replace Arcia for his IL stint. I think he had to be putting a ton of pressure on himself and he already knew the Braves didn't think he was good enough to start at SS to begin the season.

Watching him play both years he looked a lot more comfortable at second than at short. To me it looked like he was trying to do to much and be perfect instead of just playing baseball. As the errors piled up it just got worse.

Plus all the SSS for the defensive metrics, which I'm not that much of a fan of anyway.
 

kazuneko

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So Valdez and Grissom put up pretty much identical numbers at 2B. Take that for what it's worth.
The big hope with Grissom is that, since he's two years younger that he still has more upside than Valdez and that that could manifest either through improvements in the field (from his current Valdezian level to something more blandly subpar would probably be enough) or the bat (if he ends up more of an 850 OPS guy than a 750 OPS guy LF or DH is probably a match) or both (in which case he could be an All-Star 2b). If none of this were to happen in the next two years he'd end up a RH Valdez (i.e. a guy without a position who isn't good enough with the bat to be a dedicated DH).
 

Rovin Romine

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Again, it is worth noting, Grissom had NEVER PLAYED SECOND BASE, when those major league analytics started taking place. Throwing a 21 year old at a new position for the first time at the major league level is just insanely unfair.
Actually he had: https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=grisso000vau

Not a lot of innings, but some. It was hardly his primary position and, as you say, not ideal at all to learn on the fly in the majors.

However, interestingly, going by range factor and fielding % in the minors. . .2B is clearly his best position as opposed to SS.
 
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Rovin Romine

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RG33

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Arky Vaughan is Hall of Fame.
Oh man, love the Arky Vaughan reference. I geek out on the Sporcle website and do the “name all 271 players in the Hall of Fame” test quite frequently (my best is 7 minutes!). I have gone down rabbit holes on a number of players whom I had not heard of or didn’t know much about. Arky was one of them. Sadly, he drowned on Lost Lake at the age of 40 when he and a buddy went fishing and the buddy stood up on the boat, capsizing it, and costing them both their lives.
 

circus catch

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291
Oh man, love the Arky Vaughan reference. I geek out on the Sporcle website and do the “name all 271 players in the Hall of Fame” test quite frequently (my best is 7 minutes!). I have gone down rabbit holes on a number of players whom I had not heard of or didn’t know much about. Arky was one of them. Sadly, he drowned on Lost Lake at the age of 40 when he and a buddy went fishing and the buddy stood up on the boat, capsizing it, and costing them both their lives.
And a silly little side conversation takes a very dark turn.

My rabbit hole is baseball mogul. Guys who die young or get hurt in real life don't necessarily in mogul. A place where Arky lives.