Last week I wrote a couple of posts about the Houston Astros situation in left field. I had known that since Robbie Grossman had been recalled that he was doing well. But what he has done since being back in the major leagues is awesome. Can this level of performance be maintained?
Grossman owned the Astros’ longest hitting streak of the 2013 season. To begin the 2014 season, however, he was dreadful to the ear-bleeding tune of a .125 batting average prior to a demotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
In 34 games down in the PCL, Grossman slashed .299/.373/.453 with 3 home runs and 16 walks.
When Robbie returned the Astros lineup as a starter, he carried some of the success over from the minor leagues. The only question really is if he can sustain this level of performance. I really wish he would, but I have my doubts.
His success in this stint is partially inflated by his ability to not strike out. When his first game is taken out, Grossman has just 2 strikeouts in 8 starts. Overall he does have a positive walk-to-strikeout ratio, in a small sample, of 1.5. In the minor leagues this ratio was significantly lower when he recorded 16 walks alongside 31 strikeouts, which is 0.516 walks per strikeout. His career walk per strikeout rate is even worse at 0.395.
On the other hand, his batting average has remained consistent between his triple-a stint and this stretch in the major leagues. One of the biggest issues with predicting his game moving forward is that this is such a small sample size. His productivity in the last 10 games has been welcomed for an Astros team that lacks a true offensive player in left field.
His best performance thus far in 2014 came in the 14-5 rout of the Twins when Grossman scored 3 runs. For good reason he was grossly overshadowed by Chris Carter and Jon Singleton. With 2 hits and 2 walks, he reached base in four of his 5 plate appearances.
Robbie’s batting average was down to .113 on the year prior to his recent hot stretch. Entering the series with Arizona, Grossman is now batting .198 on the season with a .303 on-base percentage.
This is why baseball teams play 162 games. Soon enough we will get our answer to the questions I have asked for the last week or so.