Atlanta Braves 2023 season in review: Vaughn Grissom dominates Triple-A, what's next?

We take a look at Vaughn Grissom's productive 2023 in Gwinnett and how he performed with the Atlanta Braves. We also consider a potential pathway to playing time in 2024 for the talented young infielder turned outfielder.
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves began the spring of 2023 in search of Dansby Swanson's replacement. In what seems like an eternity ago, Vaughn Grissom was almost the assumed heir apparent. Then the rumblings that Braden Shewmake could win the battle began. Ultimately, none of that was true and Orlando Arcia was handed the reins (along with a three-year extension).

The reality was that Vaughn Grissom wasn't ready to be an everyday major-league shortstop. He may never be ready. We take a look at his brief run with the Atlanta Braves in 2023 and his stellar performance for the Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers. We will also take a peek at pathways to potential playing time in 2024.

Vaughn Grissom: 2023 MLB Statistics

Vaughn began the spring as the favorite to begin 2023 as the starting shortstop. He ended up playing in just 23 games. His defense was so bad at shortstop, that he finished with a 135-game pace of -53 defensive runs saved. At one point, Orlando Arcia returned from injury without a rehab assignment because the Braves couldn't wait to send Vaughn Grissom back to Gwinnett.

In his 80 major-league plate appearances last year, Grissom his .280 with a .313 OBP and a .347 SLG. His .659 OPS equated to a 78 OPS+. Grissom put up much better numbers in his 41 games in 2022, slashing .291/.353/.440.

Vaughn Grissom: 2023 Triple-A Statistics

Vaughn Grissom spent most of his time in AAA-Gwinnett last season. He played in 102 games for the Stripers and slashed .330/.419/.501. Grissom had a phenomenal 36 doubles to go with eight homers and four triples in just 397 at-bats. He also kicked in 13 steals in 15 attempts. He walked in 12% of his plate appearances and struck out in just 14% of them. Grissom finished 2023 with a .921 OPS. With all the negative talk surrounding his defense last year, his bat shined in Gwinnett.

Atlanta Braves: What to expect from Vaughn Grissom in 2024

It is important to remember that Grissom is still very young. He was only 22 years old last season. 2023 was his first time playing in Triple-A. In 2022, he was called up straight from Double-A. He has proven that his bat is ready for the big leagues. His pathway to playing time is likely in leftfield. The Braves have said they would like to see some form of Jarred Kelenic and Vaughn Grissom working in left field in 2024. Whether that means a platoon or a competition, we don't know.

Read more about Vaughn Grissom's pathway to playing time in 2024 here.

One thing's for sure, Grissom's bat has a lot of potential. Do you think the Braves will find a trade partner or will they keep him around? How would his services best be used by the Braves in 2024? Share on social media or leave your thoughts in the comments on the YouTube video.