All we’ve heard this offseason is what the Braves would do at shortstop. Many speculated Atlanta would land one of the big four free agents, but as each one signed deals, it became clear the club would roll with Vaughn Grissom. Since then, many in the organization have praised the 22-year-old.
“I’m not thinking he can do the job, I know he can do the job,” Ron Washington said most recently. “But he has to come up in here and he has to win a job. We’re not giving him anything. We just tried to get him ready to compete, and he’s ready to compete.”
Alex Anthopoulos said it perfectly when he stated, “Wash isn’t the type to rave.” He is one of the most knowledgeable coaches in all of baseball, and all he’s done is praise Grissom this offseason. Washington is adamant it will work out, stating it over and over. Grissom won’t come in and immediately replace Dansby Swanson. He was a Gold Glove winner at one of the most difficult positions; learning the nuances of a premium position like shortstop takes time. Development won’t happen overnight, but Wash said he’s already seen growth and reminded fans to be patient.
“Growth. I see things that I didn’t see earlier,” Washington said on Grant McAuley’s podcast, via Fansided. “He really, really, really wants it, and he’s been putting in the time to deserve it. I think the fans have to just be patient.”
If Ron Washington is confident in Vaughn Grissom, nobody should question the decision until we see live baseball. I’m cautiously optimistic about Vaughn Grissom. Hopefully, he can hold his own defensively because his bat is what’s really exciting. Nobody should be shocked if Grissom outperforms Swanson offensively in 2023. The new Cubs shortstop is a career 95 OPS+ hitter. Meanwhile, Grissom finished the year with a .291 average and five long balls, good for a .792 OPS. He just needs time.
“We’ve got to watch him grow,” Washington said. “He doesn’t have it all yet. But he has enough right now to challenge for a job. And in my opinion, he has enough to take the job and run with it.”
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire