Robbie Grossman (Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Astros outfielder Robbie Grossman is having a very interesting (and inconsistent) season. The 24-year-old switch-hitter has had months where he plays great and others where he looks pretty bad. For the season, he is hitting .220/.330/.330 with 6 home runs, 11 doubles, 2 triples, 33 RBIs, 35 runs scored, 66 hits, 48 walks, and 88 strikeouts in exactly 300 at-bats.
With all the talented outfielders in the Astros organization, Grossman knows he has to take advantage of his playing time and show the coaches and front office what he can do these last couple weeks. So far, September is projected to be Grossman’s best month of the season in just about every category. Here are his month-by-month splits:
"April: .125/.236/.313 with 6 hits, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs, 3 runs scored, 7 walks, and 17 strikeouts in 48 at-bats.May: .238/.333/.286 with 5 hits, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts in 21 at-bats.June: .156/.283/.200 with 7 hits, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs, 7 runs scored, 8 walks, and 14 strikeouts in 45 at-bats.July: .293/.423/.414 with 17 hits, 1 double, two home runs, 8 RBIs, 7 runs scored, 13 walks, and 17 strikeouts in 58 at-bats.August: .220/.331/.320 with 22 hits, 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 12 RBIs, 13 runs scored, 16 walks, and 28 strikeouts in 100 at-bats.September: .321/.355/.464 with 9 hits, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 2 RBIs, 3 runs scored, 1 walk, and 9 strikeouts in 28 at-bats."
Grossman is a very patient hitter who does a nice job of getting on-base consistently. He doesn’t have very much power and definitely needs to cut down on the strikeouts, but I think he has shown some improvement in just his second season in the majors. Here are Grossman’s number from 2013:
"2013: .268/.332/.370 with 4 home runs, 14 doubles, 0 triples, 21 RBIs, 29 runs scored, 69 hits, 23 walks, and 70 strikeouts in 257 at-bats."
In the end, I think Grossman would be best utilized as a fourth outfielder on a good team. When Springer gets back from his injury, the Astros will most likely play Fowler, Marisnick, and Springer together to see if that combination can work. Meanwhile, Grossman would be an excellent player off the bench who can fill in when necessary and share some time in right field with Marisnick.
An influx of outfield talent is certainly not a bad problem for the Astros to have next season. Even if Springer sits for the rest of the year, the Astros will take advantage of these next couple weeks and monitor the play of guys like Grossman, Hoes, Presley, and Krauss to see who will be a part of next year’s team. So far this month, it’s been Grossman taking advantage of his opportunity the most.