The Atlanta Braves have plenty of reason to doubt whether Vaughn Grissom can be an everyday shortstop, but he’s silencing those concerns this spring.
It’s fair to doubt Vaughn Grissom, who was called up last season primarily to fill in for Ozzie Albies at second base, can play a consistent shortstop at this level. He’s tall and lanky, and has plenty of versatility — but will that transition well to a position he needs plenty of help with?
Grissom spent much of the offseason working out with Ron Washington in hopes of improving his defensive skill at the position. The Braves let Dansby Swanson walk in free agency this offseason, which created a hole at shortstop. Grissom and Orlando Arcia are expected to battle for playing time this spring.
Washington was vehement after working with Grissom that he thinks the 22-year-old can be an everyday MLB shortstop. Whether that occurs starting on Opening Day, or later in the season, remains to be seen.
Atlanta Braves news: Can Vaughn Grissom play shortstop well enough?
Vaughn Grissom played over 100 minor-league games at shortstop prior to being called up by the Braves, and spent the majority of his high school career there as well. He has plenty of experience, but some scouts wonder if he has the range and footwork to man the position day-in and day out.
“Those three weeks (with Washington) that I spent out there helped me be a little bit ahead on the game (as far as knowing) what to expect out here, and just doing anything fundamental — knowing what’s the right way and what’s the wrong way,” Grissom said, per The Athletic.
Grissom said he took a lot away from his time with Washington. Whether it’s enough to impress Brian Snitker remains to be seen, but his teammates have already noticed a difference. Namely, first baseman Matt Olson is in Grissom’s corner for now.
“(Shortstop) might be more comfortable for him,” Olson said of Grissom, per David O’Brien. “I know he’s been working hard, and if Wash is giving a thumbs-up on something, I truly believe it. He’s good. He works hard, he’s gonna do it. He’ll be good.”
It’s easy to forget how young Grissom is. While he spent plenty of time in the majors last season, there will be a transition to the MLB level. For him, it just happens to be defensively rather than at the plate.