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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

AFL Recap 10/18: Grossman and Cunningham Continue Hitting

Robbie Grossman is getting a lot of attention in the Arizona Fall League, and for good reason.  The Pittsburgh Pirates’ outfield prospect went 2-for-4 today along with two walks.  It was the fifth multi-hit game in a row or Grossman, and the fifth game in a row with at least one walk.  On the season, Grossman has a .375/.462/.643 line in 56 at-bats.

When asked in the comments section whether Grossman would hit with enough power to be a starter, Keith Law had the following response:

I think he’s going to hit enough overall, including getting on base, to be a starter. One of the most exciting players out here.

It’s great to see Grossman hitting, but I don’t think any questions will be answered for sure until he makes the jump to the AA level.  The biggest test for hitters is that jump from high-A to AA, and while the AFL provides Grossman with some experience against upper level pitchers, the sample size isn’t enough to draw a definitive conclusion about what type of major league player he could become.  We’ll get better answers to those questions in Altoona next year.

Jarek Cunningham also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a walk.  Cunningham is 8-for-19 in his last four games, after going 2-for-19 in his first six games of the season.  He now has a .263/.341/.579 line in 38 at-bats.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


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This could be a situation where some team falls in love with Grossman and sees him as a big piece of their future.  I’m just not sure that I want that team to be the Pirates.  The Pirates seem to only have depth at 2 places: mid rotation starting pitching and Outfielders without Power.  Right now the list includes Tabata, Presley, Paul, Hernandez, Marte, and Grossman.  With CF filled for the next 4 or 5 seasons, that only leaves the corners and in a division where the Reds Cards and Brewers all had corners that hit 50+ HR it’s tough to compete when yours can’t combine to hit 20.  In an ideal world the Pirates trade some of the OFWOP and acquire upgrades at other positions.


As someone who often jumps to conclusions (I once said Grossman was a bad pick when he was one year out of high school) I am going to tamp down my excitement although it won’t easy. There are alot of hits and runs in these games either because of bad pitching or the conditions in Arizona or both so I am really waiting to see what he does next season.

Hopefully we have a above average or better player on our hands.

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