Robbie Grossman breakout candidate


Outfielder Robbie Grossman has been one of the Astros hottest hitters this spring. I know, it’s only Spring Training. But there are still plenty of reasons to get excited about the potential of a breakout season from the 24-year old from Cy-Fair High School.

The centerpiece of the Wandy Rodriguez trade that took place in July of 2012, Grossman came to the Astros with a reputation as an athletic outfielder with a penchant for getting on base. Rated as one of MLB’s top 100 prospects at the time of the trade, Grossman was sent to AA Corpus Christi where he would finish out his age 22 season.

Promoted to AAA Oklahoma City to start the 2013 season, Grossman’s production remained steady. And, when injuries started to take a toll on Astros outfielders in late April, Robbie was summoned to the big leagues.

Making his debut in the leadoff spot, Grossman would double twice to help the Astros to a 10-3 win over the Mariners at Minute Maid Park. Robbie quickly came back down to earth, going 0 for 17 during the next four games in Boston. The struggles continued, and after compiling a .198/.310/.243 slash line over his first month in the majors, Grossman was sent back to AAA.

But Robbie would return to Houston — and with a bang. Grossman immediately reeled off a 10-game hitting streak that included three longballs. In his second stint in the show, a more aggressive approach at the plate produced a nifty .322/.351/.466 slash line. Unfortunately, an oblique strain in early September would end Robbie’s season prematurely.

Back in camp healthy and ready to prove himself, Grossman seems to have done everything necessary to lock down one of the Astros’ corner outfield spots. Going into today’s action Robbie was hitting .417/.448/.625 in eleven exhibition games. It looks like Grossman will get another shot in the show and I like his chances of sticking.

Good speed and defensive skills give us even more reasons to like the hometown kid. His improved approach at the plate means Grossman has the potential to have a breakout season — and that could help the Astros surprise some teams.

Robbie Grossman (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)