Comments on: Arizona Fall League Rundown After Week Two Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Sun, 13 Apr 2014 18:50:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Anonymous Mon, 17 Oct 2011 13:07:00 +0000 I haven’t seen Grossman play yet, but the more I read about him, the more I like him.  While he is an OBP machine, he is starting to look like much more than that.  His worst OBP is .344, he accomplished that while hitting just .245.  Now he is adding power and batting average and cutting down on his strikeouts to his set of impressive numbers. 

If we don’t penalize him for his walks, he was striking out about 18.7 times per 100 plate appearances.  Last year, Starling Marte struck out 25.2 times per 100 plate appearances.  This year, he improved to 17,9 times per 100 plate appearances.  I’m not down on Marte but using him as a point of reference for what Grossman is accomplishing.
In an organization that has exactly one hitting prospect (excluding Josh Bell for the time being), I don’t understand how Grossman is flying so far under the fans’ radar.  Marte is obviously the cream of the Pirates’ crop offensively.  But when one looks at what Grossman is doing, at the same levels as Marte, they both compare quite well.I know that Grossman repeated high A this year but that is a specious argument as Grossman was probably young, both years, for that level of baseball.  Grossman was just 19 and 20 in his two seasons at high A.  I haven’t looked at the age breakdown for that level, but based on what I’ve seen in the past, he was very young for that level in his first year, and likely younger than most players in his second year.

I think many people who underrate Grossman are missing one of the minor points of Moneyball and Moneyball v2.0 (what the Rays are doing).  People who underrate Grossman are overly focused on the subjective evaluation, how the player looks, than the objective, what the player is actually doing.  I will take the guy who is actually doing something (especially the things that really matter) over the guy who looks like he can do something.

There is an old baseball axiom that there are no prospects below AA. Grossman has proved himself at lower levels, now he has to progress at AA next year.  I believe he will.  And as I wrote in another thread, I believe this time next year, we will be talking about Robbie Grossman as our top hitting prospect.