When the Astros traded Wandy Rodriguez to Pittsburgh in July, outfielder Robbie Grossman was the key player headed to Houston in the deal. A product of Cy-Fair High School, Robbie was drafted by the Pirates in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. Grossman signed with Pittsburgh, passing up a chance to play for the University of Texas.
Grossman stands six feet tall and weighs in at 205 pounds. He is 23-years old. In 2009, his first full season in pro ball, Grossman drew 75 walks and stole 35 bases while playing at Single-A West Virginia. He also struck out 164 times. Since then, Grossman has managed to keep his walk totals up while reducing his strikeout percentage.
In 2011, his second season at High-A Bradenton, Grossman drew 104 walks and scored 127 runs. He continued to impress by slugging seven homeruns in the Arizona Fall League.
Grossman was high on the Pirates list of top prospects entering the 2012 season, ranking alongside Starling Marte at fourth or fifth in the organization. Spending the year at AA, he walked 77 times, helping to maintain his .379 career OBP. The Astros love his ability to get on base and feel the switch-hitting Grossman has the potential to hit 15 to 20 homers a year.
A solid defender at all three outfield positions, Grossman probably profiles best as a right-fielder. He has a strong arm and enough foots peed to play center. Robbie is a player to keep a close eye on this season. If he continues to improve I think we could see him in Houston at some point during the year.