Legends On Deck

LOD MLB Rookie of the Week: INF Vaughn Grissom – Braves

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On the eve of August 10, 2022, the Atlanta Braves were in second place and seven games behind the New York Mets in the National League East. Since then, they are 9-2, just four games back and one good reason is the spark that they called up from their minor league system.

Vaughn Grissom, the rookie phenom, was drafted in 2019 in the 11th round (337th Pick) by the Braves. In his first season in professional baseball he batted .288 (46 for 160), with 22 runs, seven doubles, a triple, three home runs and 23 RBIs through 44 games.

The Orlando, FL native continued his trend up the minor league system in 2021, when he batted .319 (101 for 317) in A Ball, with 64 runs, 17 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, 43 RBIs, and 45 walks through 87 games.

This year would be the magic season for Grissom, as he started 2022 with High A Rome Braves and through 74 games, he batted .312 (93 for 298) with 62 runs, 17 doubles, a triple, 11 home runs, 55 RBIs and 32 walks. He was then promoted to Double A Mississippi Braves, where he continued his torrid hitting, and in 22 games he batted .363 (33 for 91), with 10 runs, three doubles, a triple, three home runs and 12 RBIs.

In Grissom’s final game with the Mississippi Braves on August 9th, he finished 3 for 4, with a double, leaving a lasting mark on his final game in the minors.

Then later that evening, the 21 year old third baseman got the call that every minor leaguer dreams of and many Braves fans have been waiting for, he was going to the show.

The Braves had just come off a weekend disaster after dropping four out of five games to the Mets and looking for a spark.  Well they got one and he has been on fire ever since.

In his first major league at bat in Boston against the Red Sox, with a runner on first, Grissom received a 77.5 MPH Knuckle Ball curve and grounded into a force out, then struck out in his second at bat. With the Braves up 4-1 in the top of the 7th, Grissom finally joined the party as he recorded his first MLB hit with a two run bomb way over the Green Monster in left center field, while also recording his first MLB HR and RBI.

The rookie sensation continued to shine bright as he hit safely in four of five games in his first week in the majors, going 7 for 18 (.388) with 6 runs scored, a double, two home runs, and four RBIs. In that stretch the Braves would win six straight games sweeping the Red Sox and the Miami Marlins on the road, setting up a four game showdown with the division leading Mets.

In 12 major league games thus far in 2022, Grissom has hit safely in 10 games, batting .395 (17 for 43). Over the past week, he helped his teammates overcome the devastating series in New York the previous weekend, by defeating New York in three out of four games, posting a 13-1 lopsided win in game one. In that series, Grissom was 6 for 14 (.428), with five runs scored, a double and three RBIs, helping the Braves to pull within 3.5 games of the lead. The AL West Leading Houston Astros arrived in Atlanta next with a 75-43 record and the Braves took two out of three to stay within striking distance of the Mets.

On Friday August 19th, Grissom went hitless against the Astros, in only this second game since being called up that he did not record a hit, but that didn’t last for long as he went 2 for 4 in game two, launching his third homer and capped off the weekend going 2 for 4 with a double.

Over the past week, spanning August 15th to 21st, Grissom finished 10 for 25 (.400), with six runs scored, two doubles, a home run, five RBIs, two walks and only struck out three times.

What an amazing start to Vaughn Grissom’s major league career, especially with the Braves in the top spot for the NL Wild Card and only 4 games behind the Mets for the NL East Division, the rookie has a chance to help the Braves make the 2022 season a magical one.

 

David Conde
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