The news broke yesterday that the Milwaukee Brewers were set to recall outfielder Trent Grisham prior to today’s game. It’s not that the promotion isn’t justified, as he’s raked regardless of the level that he’s played this year:
- Double-A (236 AB) – .254 with 13 HR, 41 RBI, 34 R and 6 SB
- Triple-A (134 AB) – .381 with 13 HR, 30 RBI, 37 R and 6 SB
Obviously his numbers at Triple-A aren’t sustainable, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t significant intrigue (even if we believe the Double-A numbers). He hadn’t shown this type of power before (7 HR in 405 PA at Double-A last season), but this scouting report courtesy of MLB.com explains how he has been able to tap into his potential this season:
For years Grisham was unable to find his comfort zone as a hitter, and he looked particularly lost at the plate in 2018, setting up so far off the plate with an open stance that his front foot was borderline out of the batter’s box. Grisham’s stance, along with his naturally passive approach, opened the door for pitchers to attack him, and he struggled to drive the baseball even when he got a hittable pitch. The Brewers determined that Grisham’s point of contact was consistently too deep, and they worked with him ahead of the 2019 season on hitting the ball more out in front. The results from that adjustment have been staggering, as Grisham is now clearing fences with ease while consistently driving to ball from pole-to-pole. What’s more, he’s tapped into that power without it detracting from the plate discipline and on-base skills that have been a staple in his pro career.
As they note in the report, he owns walk rates of 15.5% at Double-A and 14.6% at Triple-A this season. That alone will make him an intriguing play in OBP formats, as does his ability to make consistent contact (his SwStr% was 7.5% at Double-A and 8.4% at Triple-A). So with the power appearing to be for real coupled with the ability to make consistent contact? That’s a dangerous combination.
He may not have elite speed, but he clearly knows how to use it. He’s stolen as many as 38 bases in a season (at High-A in 2017), and it should translate to double digit steals at the highest level.
Can he be a .280 hitter with 25/15 (or more) in a full season? Keep in mind his Double-A numbers were sabotaged by a .269 BABIP, a lower number than we would’ve expected.
There is going to be a question about playing time, with the Brewers currently utilizing Lorenzo Cain, Ryan Braun & Christian Yelich in the outfield, though Braun could start seeing time at first base after the trade of Jesus Aguilar. Cain has also struggled (.251/.314/.369) and you can argue that both of their older outfielders are going to need days off. You would think the team has a plan or they wouldn’t have called him up, and it doesn’t make sense to summon him to sit on the bench.
While he may not be a must add in shallower formats, in 12-team leagues that utilize five outfielders there’s more than enough here to be buying.
Current Grade – B/B+
Sources – MLB.com, MILB.com, Fangraphs