Predicting the 2023 stats of each Braves player — Vaughn Grissom

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This continues my series where I predict the stats of each Braves player, moving on to arguably the most pivotal position heading in 2023. Vaughn Grissom and Orlando Arcia are set to fill in for Dansby Swanson, which could either turn out quite well or be an utter disaster, much like it was back in 2021 when Cristian Pache was named the starting centerfielder on Opening Day.

If you missed the previous pieces to this series, follow the links below:

Predicting Vaughn Grissom’s Stats

Prior to the offseason, I never thought the Braves were going to instill so much trust into Vaughn Grissom. The plan is for him to be the everyday starter, let’s make no mistake about it. Arcia is a backup with a high floor that can step up if things go south, but that’s a worst case scenario. If Atlanta didn’t think Grissom was ready, they would have added another starting caliber shortstop in some form or fashion.

Offensively, I don’t see any reason Grissom won’t put up similar or even better numbers than Swanson did over his Braves career. Grissom has been elite with the stick at every level and recorded some more than respectable numbers last season in 41 games with the Braves, even if he struggled to end the year.

Grissom has an elite understanding of how pitchers want to attack him. He doesn’t strike out much and is willing to take his walks. Those things generally transfer from level to level. I’m expecting him to hit somewhere from .270-.300, which is more than enough for where he will be batting in the lineup.

Where the issues could lie is defensively. Grissom was underwhelming in the field for the Braves last season, and he was playing second base. Shortstop isn’t going to be any easier, especially now that the shift has been banned. This is where there will likely be a significant drop-off between Grissom and Swanson. Swanson was one of the better defensive shortstops in the game, winning a Gold Glove in 2022. There’s a chance Grissom is well below average defensively, but Ron Washington has instilled a lot of confidence in him, so my hope is he can be at least average with the glove.

Vaughn Grissom’s 2023 Stat Predictions: .283/.330/.399, .729 OPS, 13 home runs, 59 RBIs, 1.9 fWAR

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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