Braves Promote Vaughn Grissom, Activate Kirby Yates

Boy…AA sure does know how to excite his fans. Not even a 1/2 day after Orlando Arcia injured his hamstring, the Braves get 2 HUGE transactions one of which would’ve never seemed possible without great need. Here’s the full transaction:

There is still some maneuverabilty when it comes to the active roster, especially when September comes and rosters go to 28, but this sends a clear message to the team and its fans: Braves are in it to win it.

Kirby Yates ends his MILB rehab stint carrying a 1.08 ERA in 8.1 innings, striking out 10 and only walking 2. The Braves could really use his arm right about now. If he can come close to the Yates of old, the Braves could very well have the best and deepest bullpen in the game. Wow…never thought I’d say that.

For those that aren’t familiar with 21 year old Vaughn Grissom, he’s a big kid, probably pushing 190-200 lb. and measuring in at 6’3. Because of his size many think he’ll have to move to 3B, but I still see a MLB SS, at least for 5-6 more years. His arm is strong so it won’t be a problem from 2B (obviously), and while’s he’s probably not as good with his hands or as rangy as Dansby, he makes up for it with a better arm. I’ve watched a lot of Grissom and he doesn’t move like a 6’3 200 lb. player. He’s an athlete.

What’s most impressive about Grissom is his plate approach. He’s like Acuña in that he’s selective while also being aggressive, so he gets his share of walks, although that number has decreased in 2022. Unlike Acuña, he hasn’t been prone to the strikeout (~12% K-rate) and that bodes well for his MLB future. One thing that Grissom worked really hard on in the offseason was creating lift. His ground-ball rate was way too high coming into 2022, which seriously deflated his power. This year, he’s been lifting the ball more and has seen a HUGE increase in home runs, collecting 14 in 442 PAs. The kid can also run, collecting 27 stolen bases between High A and Low A. However, stealing is much easier in the lower minors (especially High-A) and while he does have above average speed, I can’t fathom that he’ll be doing any sort of regular running like Acuña and Harris.

While it’s likely a pipedream, when (if) Ozzie Albies returns, I’d love for Brian Snitker to finally lay Marcell Ozuna to rest and, if he’s producing, utilize Vaughn Grissom as a super-utility infielder, allowing Snitker to rotate the DH around his infield to allow some field rest for Austin Riley, Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, and Matt Olson, 3 of which have essentially been everyday players all year and could use some time off of their legs while also staying in the lineup.

Tonight’s going to be fun! I’m guessing Grissom sits his first game and we see him as the starting 2b tomorrow. Exciting times, indeed!

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

43 thoughts on “Braves Promote Vaughn Grissom, Activate Kirby Yates”

  1. In 100% of previous seasons that a Grissom has been on the Braves’ roster, they went to the World Series, and they won 50% of those. I like those odds.

    Great write up, Ryan. I’ve never seen him play, and I trust your scouting report. I appreciate what you say about his approach, but he’s only walked four times in almost 100 plate appearances in AA. That’s just a little concerning to me. Still, I’m thrilled they made this move.

  2. I’m a graduate of Grissom high school. I thought it was named after Vaughn’s grandfather, the astronaut, Gus Grissom.

  3. @2
    There was a large contrast between Grissom of 2021 and Grissom of 2022 and I think it is largely due to application. He worked hard to create lift in the ’21-’22 offseason and I’d bet good $ that was a major goal of the org to see that in action. It might be a fool’s hope, but he’s always had a good track record for patience and I think that will show back up sooner than later.

  4. Just ran across this:

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/baseballs-best-teams-are-consolidating-their-star-power/

    Several things of note. First, Braves have the second best top 3. Second, Acuna is not one of them. Third, we gave the Dodgers their best player. How good would we be with a “top 4”. Next year, if Acuna and Olson (and Soroka and Anderson) play up to expectations, we might really run away with it.

    I, too, see this as a possible Dansby-replacement audition or at least a way to gain leverage. Also, Ozzie has been known to play a little SS in his time. But Ryan (and most others) are correct that Ozuna is the big drag on this team right now. He is one big rally killer.

    Can’t wait to see who hits 9th – Grissom or Harris. One of Harris’ biggest contributions is turning the lineup over. I’ll bet that Ozzie has to play some DH when he gets back just like Acuna did.

  5. Hey, the Nats gave the Padres their best player, the Phillies their best player, and the Mets their best player.

  6. I’ll admit to being a bit bummed by our very subdued trade deadline moves. This washes that all away. Pretty exciting. Tonight’s game is must see tv. Well, they all are, but this adds a cool extra wrinkle to it.

  7. …or I could be wrong. Fair enough.

    I still wonder what happens when Albies comes back. Are they really gonna leave Grissom up here to sit on the bench instead of send him back down to get reps? That’s a “cross that bridge when we come to it” problem, though.

    I will say that I’m not a fan of the idea of this being a three-week audition for Grissom to take over shortstop next year, though. Maybe that could be acceptable if we did something major with DH and LF, but in a vacuum, replacing Dansby with Grissom is not going to be good enough. If we don’t re-sign Dansby, I think we need to make a major move of some other kind there.

  8. I don’t think this is a two week trial or anything so pressure-laden. We had plan A, plan B, etc for roster depth in 2022. We’re at plan F. Can he produce better than the .175 with no-power that Adrianza would give us.

    If he shows out and gives hope for a post-Dansby future, then all the better, but this isn’t the only path forward if we can’t work it out with Dans. There’s some major FA options there too, and we shouldn’t be lacking in the money department.

  9. Yeah. This is a classic injury-prompted cup of coffee. Grissom wasn’t expected to stick in the majors for another 18 months. Obviously, if he does what Harris has done and forces the issue, the Braves will have one of those good problems. But really, all we can hope for is effective defense and an OPS over .650. Major league second basemen are collectively batting .242/.309/.376 — if Vaughn can put that line up at the age of 21, his floor is Tony Graffanino and his ceiling is as high as you want.

    Either way, his life is about to be changed forever. I love baseball so much.

  10. First mess up of his career. At least he got one out. His heart must be racing.

  11. Marcell! Why does everyone think we need a new DH?
    That’s probably just the acorn for the proverbial blind squirrel, but it sure would help this team if he could finally get hot.

  12. So are Will Smith and Madison Bumgarner ok with that bat flip? Not like they can say, “Act like you’ve done it before.”

  13. @24

    Your Will Smith comment has made me realize I forgot to do my farewell to Will Smith on Sunday. I guess I’ll have to do it next week…assuming the weekend isn’t so bad that I’m once again writing through a grimace just to get it over with like I was this past Sunday.

  14. Why did we take Wright out? I wasn’t paying too close attention but his pitch count couldn’t have been that high.

  15. @31 perhaps Snit was trying to save Wright’s arm a bit. As it is he’ll throw a career high number of innings this year and I am in favor of taking it easy on him and Strider where strategically appropriate down the stretch to increase the odds they’re not dead-armed come October.

  16. The number of Braves fans who have taken over Fenway Park this week has been pretty delicious given what their fans do at Truist Park every year. I was led to believe their fans were just better baseball fans. I guess not!

  17. Wow. Vaughn Grissom. Seems like a great kid, too. I think I have seen MH3 smile and laugh for the first time since he’s been up as he was genuinely excited for Grissom.

  18. If this Grissom kid keeps coming on ..then what is plan when Albies gets back ??? Since Albies best hitting from right side too … do they send Grissom back down to season or ???? or does he go down and play some OF and work that in ??? interesting to see what happens .. need to realize its one game .. teams will figure some holes out and he will have to adjust .. and struggle some

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