The Braves have a couple of rising stars at the AA level in Mississippi. Jake Gordon talked about Michael Harris yesterday, but Vaughn Grissom is another young man to keep an eye out for this season. The 21-year-old has yet to be tested in his minor-league career, as he dominated in A and High-A ball in 2021. Grissom also impressed as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training this season.
However, the jump from High-A ball to AA is a massive one, and it’s where we see a lot of players’ progress halt substantially. Well, Grissom has passed the test so far. He collected five hits and four RBIs in his first three games with Mississippi.
Grissom is a well-built shortstop, standing 6’3″. He’s already proven to have a great contact bat with the potential for some real power. Ideally, the Braves would like to take things slowly with him, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they were a bit more aggressive if he has a lot of success early on because Dansby Swanson is set to hit free agency at the end of the season.
That could also depend on how Braden Shewmake continues to develop. The current shortstop in Gwinnett had a miserable season in AA last season, but the Braves still decided to promote him to AAA. Like Grissom, the early results are promising. Shewmake also had five hits — one of which went for a home run — in just twelve at-bats to begin the season.
For what it’s worth, it appears Shewmake also made some pretty severe changes to his approach at the plate.
Shewmake holds his hands higher and he’s gotten rid of the loop in his swing to make his swing a lot more direct. Pretty substantial change in how Shewmake swings pic.twitter.com/1DQDkMzqzT
— Gaurav (@gvedak) April 6, 2022
There are some shortstops that will pique the interest of the Braves next offseason, including their own in Dansby Swanson. I wouldn’t even count out superstars, like Trea Turner and Carlos Correa, given the championship window of the current team and ownership’s increased willingness to spend. However, having two developing shortstop prospects trending upwards is incredibly valuable and could give Anthopoulos more flexibility this offseason. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come for Grissom and Shewmake.