Presenting a very deep MLB 2022 rookie All-Star team

Sep 19, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians left fielder Steven Kwan (38) rounds the bases during an RBI triple in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 19, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians left fielder Steven Kwan (38) rounds the bases during an RBI triple in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Vaughn Grissom. Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports
Vaughn Grissom. Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports /

Second base

Ozzie Albies is Atlanta’s regular second baseman; that much is clear. But two separate IL stints (the latest beginning just last week) opened a window for Vaughn Grissom to gain playing time. Grissom has more than taken advantage.

Since being called up when Albies was injured in early August, Grissom is batting .306 with an .835 OPS and a 130 OPS+. Call it coincidence if you want, but the Braves are 28-10 since Grissom arrived to fill in for Albies.

Grissom’s defensive work has been only average to date, although average is acceptable for a kid for little more than a month’s major league experience who is playing in a pennant race.

An 11th-round pick in the 2019 draft, Grissom was batting .312 at High-A Rome when he was called up. The interesting question is what Atlanta will do with its homegrown star once Albies returns.

In the minors, he played all infield positions but was mostly a shortstop. Atlanta’s current shortstop, Dansby Swanson, ranks among the game’s best. But Swanson is also a free agent at season’s end. Would the Braves have the institutional guts to conclude that Grissom is ready to take over for Swanson and let Dansby walk? Time will tell.

One thing is for certain … if Grissom continues to produce as he has since his callup, he’ll be a key figure as the Braves try to defend their 2021 World Series title.