Braves: Chipper Jones provides hitting advice for Vaughn Grissom

Vaughn Grissom

Chipper Jones is back with the Braves organization as a special instructor, and nobody stands to benefit more from his presence in the clubhouse than (hopefully) the Braves’ new starting shortstop Vaughn Grissom. Last week, Jones went on 680 The Fan to discuss what advice he will give to the youngster to help him at the plate this upcoming season.

In the clip, Jones says, “It will be similar to what we did with Austin Riley, making sure his [Vaughn Grissom] base swing is up the middle and the other way. And the ball that he hits out of the ballpark will be hanging sliders and hanging changeups. I don’t want him cheating on fastballs to the left side. I want him staying inside. Chances are he’s probably going to be hitting down in the lineup. He’s good enough to set the table for the top of the lineup, and he can turn that lineup over. He can run. He can steal bags. I mean he can do a lot of things. There’s a reason why he wasn’t playing at the end of the year, and we got to get him back to being a tough out.”

The similarities between the beginning of Austin Riley and Vaughn Grissom’s respective careers are uncanny. Both players burst out of the gate as rookies and experienced incredible success, only for opponents to eventually figure out their weaknesses, leading to lengthy slumps and minimal opportunities when the postseason arrived.

Going into year two, Chipper Jones took Riley under his wing, and while the results weren’t immediate, Riley eventually blossomed into one of the best third basemen in baseball. The Braves are hoping Vaughn Grissom can experience something similar under the guidance of Jones.

All eyes will be on Grissom as he enters his first full season in the majors. The Braves aren’t solely relying on him to be the starting shortstop. Orlando Arcia is also still on the roster in case Grissom struggles, but if Arcia is receiving the bulk of the starts at shortstop, the Braves made a considerable mistake by not adding to the position this offseason. Vaughn Grissom is expected to fill the shoes of Dansby Swanson, who departed for Chicago this winter, and hopefully Chipper Jones can play a critical role in ensuring that is what happens.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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