Ron Washington adamant that Vaughn Grissom will work out for Braves

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The kid that Braves Country is going to be watching in 2023 is Vaughn Grissom. He is 22 years old with 41 games under his belt and will be stepping in for an All-Star, Gold Glove veteran in Dansby Swanson for a team with World Series aspirations. The Braves have regularly turned to younger inexperienced players, and more often than not, it’s worked out — Austin Riley, Michael Harris, etc. But sometimes it doesn’t always work out — Christian Pache. Well, Ron Washington is adamant that Vaughn Grissom will work out for the Braves.

In an interview with The Athletic, Alex Anthopoulos stated that the infield guru, who has been working with Vaughn Grissom in New Orleans, is optimistic he can handle the defensive duties of playing shortstop. Replacing Dansby Swanson is no small task, and nobody should expect Grissom to perform at that level immediately. Learning the nuances of a premium position like that takes time. If Wash is confident in Grissom, nobody should question the decision until we see live baseball.

As I said, defense was always the worry with Grissom; he didn’t exactly play inspiringly last season at second, but there is no question about his ability with the stick. In fact, nobody should be surprised if he outperformed Swanson in that facet of the game in 2023. After all, Swanson is a career 95 OPS+ hitter, while Grissom has raked at every level and set the league on fire when he was called up.

In his debut, Grissom mashed his first career home run over the iconic Green Monster. In Grissom’s first 26 games and 103 plate appearances, the former 11th-round pick slashed .347/.398/.558 with five home runs and a .956 OPS, but regression smacked him right in the face. Over his final 15 games and 53 plate appearances, Vaughn Grissom posted an unsightly .174/.264/.196 slash line.

He finished the year with a .291 average and five long balls, good for a .792 OPS, including 18 RBIs. Grissom should be able to hold his own in a lineup as deep as Atlanta’s, which will only ask him to bat at the bottom of the order. I’m eager to see how Vaughn Grissom will work out, and listening to Alex Anthopoulos parlay Ron Washington’s glowing reviews is highly encouraging.

Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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