The Atlanta Braves have been one of the hottest hitting teams in baseball over the past week, and rookie MLBbros Michael Harris II and Vaughn Grissom have been major contributors.
Much like Harris, injuries on the big league roster made it possible for Grissom to show his talent on the big league level. Atlanta has been without starting second baseman Ozzie Albies for two months with a fractured foot, and his replacement Orlando Arcia’s trip to IL set everything up for Grissom.
While Harris’s arrival came with much more fanfare than his fellow rookie, Grissom’s impact may end up being just as large. Since his arrival from Double A, Vaughn has been huge for Atlanta, and I’m not just saying that because he stands at 6’3.
Grissom had 14 home runs and 67 RBI in the minors this season, and Braves fans saw his raw power right out the gate. Stepping to the plate against the Boston Red Sox with Atlanta already up 3-1, Vaughn launched his first big league homer over the Green Monster and out of Fenway.
As he crossed home plate, he was greeted by Harris, who had just singled ahead of him to set the table.
“I didn’t feel a thing. I didn’t feel one thing, “ Grissom said after his debut. “Literally, I hit it and blacked out until I saw my first-base coach and just started laughing.”
Grissom’s bomb helped wrap up a two-game sweep in Boston, but the rook wasn’t finished. Next up was a four-game set down in Miami, where both Grissom and Harris helped to seal the series sweep.
Harris raked up five hits during the series, including three doubles and two clutch home runs. Over his last seven games he’s slashed .320/.370/.720, primarily feasting on fastballs. On the year he’s batting .365 and slugging .713 on fastballs.
Grissom, who has hit everywhere from eighth to second in the order, made sure to backup his fellow rookie MLBbro. He collected five hits as well, including a double, home run and scoring four runs. The small sample size means that he is sure to regress, but Vaughn has hit everything in sight. He’s hitting .429 against fastballs and .571 against breaking balls
Both rookies are rolling, and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the division leading New York Mets come to town. Braves third base coach Ron Washington has been adamant all season that the Mets will be no easy task, so Atlanta will need their rookies to continue contributing to knock off New York.