Robbie Grossman (Joy R. Absalon)

Robbie Grossman: Player Profile


Robbie Grossman is a very intriguing player on the Astros 40-man roster. Robbie made his professional debut in the 2013 season and left two contrasting impressions in two separate stints with the big league club. Given the current construction of the roster, I’d have to say Bo Porter is likely to pencil Grossman in as his Opening Day starter in left field.

Three questions:

  1. Where did Grossman come from?
  2. What did 2013 show us?
  3. Can he get better?

The 2012 trade deadline saw the Astros trade one of my favorite pitchers, Wandy Rodriguez, to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The trade made sense to cut salary and acquire young developing talent to bolster the minor league pipeline. The Pirates sent a pair of lefty pitchers named Colton Cain and Rudy Owens along with outfielder Robbie Grossman. Originally from Houston, Grossman signed after being drafted in the 6th round of the 2008 amateur draft. Cain and Owens have yet to make their big-league debuts. Owens is currently on the 40-man roster and may be the better of the two pitching prospects.

The 2013 season was certainly interesting for the rookie outfielder. Grossman was promoted to the Astros following an early season injury to Justin Maxwell. In his big league debut, Grossman collected two doubles in a 2 for 5 performance that helped the Astros to a 10-3 win over the Seattle Mariners. After that, things didn’t go quite as well. Robbie was eventually optioned back to Oklahoma City after hitting just .198 in his first 28 games.

Grossman’s second stint with the Astros was much more encouraging for fans of the orange and blue. Robbie posted a .322/.351/.466 slash line in 35 games before an oblique strain ended his season in early September. This hot stretch also saw Grossman take sole possession of the Astros’ longest hitting streak — 14 games — during the 2013 campaign. His first major league home run will put him alongside Chris Davis, David Ortiz, Jim Thome, and even Lance Berkman among other well-known power hitters. Seriously. The ball landed on Eutaw Street which is located outside of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Those who have hit long homeruns there are commemorated with a plaque where their ball landed.

Of course he can improve. After initially failing to crack the Mendoza line, his overall batting average came up to .268 for 63 games at the big league level. When looking at his four minor league seasons, Grossman has a .381 on-base percentage to go along with two seasons of double digit home runs. If he can sustain his ability to hit for average and continue to discover a power stroke, Grossman can certainly become a solid everyday outfielder.

 

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Tags: Houston Astros Robbie Grossman

  • ⚾ Jake ⚾

    nice article man! just one thing hes only had one season of double digit HR seasons but besides that a well written article

    • astrosince1975

      Actually… 13 HRs in 2011 and 10 HRs in 2012. Thanks for reading & commenting.

  • Lee Young

    I am a Pirate fan and hated this deal when it went down. I want to wish Robbie all the best. Watched him lots of time here in AA Harrisburg, Pa (when Altoona came to town).

    As for Owens, he was our minor league pitcher of the year, but he is essentially a soft tossing lefty. But, again, I hope he makes it, if only as a bullpen lefty. Cain was highly regarded coming out of HS (he was an overslot signing) who did nothing but disappoint. Perhaps he can still find it?

    I like it when deals are win/win.

    • Kennon Riley

      Yes it is a little disappointing that Rodriguez hasn’t really gotten a chance to contribute to your playoff run. Hopefully he is healthy for the 2014 season.

      I really hope Cain can revive his high potential since he is from Texas. Owens has managed to keep the ball in the ballpark and keep his walk rate down. He should be able to contribute some way in 2014,

      Again, I hope to see Rodriguez pitch well in 2014, You guys deserve a championship.