Robbie Grossman has had an up and down season. Over the past 10 games (entering play Wednesday), Grossman has been very good, and even possibly overshadowed. It actually goes beyond that for the outfielder though, as on Tuesday, he extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
Robbie Grossman (Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports)
After a strong Spring Training, Astros’ fans were hoping to see the outfielder make the 25 man roster. However, it was not long before Grossman was promoted to the big leagues. The problem though, is that the 24 year old had some issues adjusting to major league pitching. In 21 April at bats, Grossman hit .138 and he followed that up with a .220 average in 82 May at bats.
Strikeouts were an issue for Grossman, but in general he just did not look comfortable at the plate. He was getting away from his strength, hitting line drives and ground ball singles, and instead was hitting a lot of harmless fly balls and striking out. The Astros then correctly sent Grossman back down to AAA, and it was there where he made adjustments and rediscovered his comfort zone.
Grossman was recalled at the end of July and went 6-10 in three games. He then continued his success and thus far in August, the lead off hitter is batting .330 to raise his season average to .278. Grossman simply just looks like a different player. He is comfortable at the plate and has refined his approach. The outfielder is hitting line drives, not trying to hit fly balls, and in return he is finding the gaps and actually has seven doubles and three home runs this month.
If you want to even look at a more recent time frame, Grossman is hitting .378 in his last 10 games with five runs scored, one home run, and 8 RBI’s. Maybe even more promising, is that it seems the outfielder has shown some improvement regarding his penchant to strikeout with 10 in his last 45 at bats.
The emergence of Grossman at the top of the order I think has been a huge factor in the Astros’ recent success. He has become a true lead off hitter which is a very good thing as Bo Porter begins to think about how the 2014 Astros will look.