In looking over minor league statistics, one of the first things that I look at are walks and strikeouts. I like to look at that rate to see if the player has a sense of the strike zone or seemingly is flailing away at whatever is thrown up there to him. Usually there is some sort of a disparity between the two, but in looking over Robbie Grossman's stats, well it is pretty even and rather eye catching.
It has been pretty well documented that Grossman is the first to hit triple digits in runs and walks since Nick Swisher did it, but what was not as noted was that Grossman also just hit triple digits in strikeouts as well. What exactly does that mean?
For one, Grossman, with all the walks, seems to have a pretty good grasp of the strike zone. Patience is not an issue with him, though at the same time he is striking out a good bit, it is still 100 K's in over 450 at bats, a rate you would love to see drop.
In addition to the good eye, Grossman has also been slugging the ball more with 13 home runs, 30 doubles, and 2 triples, as well as being a threat on the bases with 24 stolen bases.
I have to ask myself the question though, what is the organization trying to prove with him in Bradenton? Why is he not in Altoona? It is obvious that the pitching in the Florida State League is a little below him, simply from all the walks. I'd love to see him in AA and see what he does against better pitching.
In AA would he hit more as the pitchers are in the zone more often? Would he struggle more with strike outs or would he adjust? How would his power translate by coming up north later in the season? These are questions that could have been answered if he was promoted at some point this season. We would know a whole lot more about Robbie Grossman than we do now.
So why has he not been promoted? One perhaps the team does not want to rush him, as they did push him a bit out of the draft, so allowing a good deal of success at a level might help down the line. Or they could be hoping that the K's do drop. Or perhaps more likely they want him staying at center and that position is manned by Starling Marte in Altoona.
Grossman has had a solid season where his game has made tremendous leaps. The OBP is great though I'd like to see the K's drop and see more hits. Maybe in hindsight challenging him at Altoona might have been a good move, if anything it would give more insight into what kind of player Grossman is now.