San Diego Padres: 2020 player profile, Trent Grisham
By Ryan Sikes
Taken 15th overall in the 2015 MLB Draft, the San Diego Padres were able to pluck Trent Grisham away from the Milwaukee Brewers in the offseason.
It’s rare for a team to give up on such a highly-touted prospect like Trent Grisham, but that’s exactly what the Milwaukee Brewers did. To the San Diego Padres‘ advantage, they were able to make a trade to acquire the 23-year-old during the offseason. Unfortunately, Grisham is most-known for his critical error in the NL Wild Card game last year.
However, he’s looking to create a new narrative with a new team. Grisham played in 51 games for the Brewers last year and slashed .231/.328/.410 with six home runs and 24 RBI. The numbers aren’t eye-popping by any means, but a closer look reveals that Grisham’s upside is enormous as he looks to fill a much-needed hole in centerfield.
Statcast Batting Statistics
While it’s a limited sample size, Grisham connected with the barrel at a 5.4 percent clip at an average exit velocity of 87.6 MPH. Balls left his bat at an average launch angle of 16.0 degrees and at a 34.6 percent hard-hit rate.
Other than a .261 average and .534 slugging percentage on fastballs, Grisham displayed rookie growing pains hitting just .200 and .227 off breaking and offspeed pitches, respectively. Remarkably, he whiffed at just an 18.6 percent clip on fastballs but was at, or exceeded, 30 percent on offspeed and breaking balls.
Batted Ball Statistics
For as young as he is, Grisham showed a tremendous ability to hit to all parts of the field. He spread the ball around at a 37.8 percent to right, 36.0 to center, and 26.1 to left. Grisham has generally done well hitting to all parts of the field in the minors, but it’s encouraging to see that immediately translate in his rookie year.
In terms of batted balls, Grisham hit line drives at a 18.9 percent clip, groundballs at 37.8 percent, and flyballs at 43.2 percent. His 0.88 groundball to flyball ratio is consistent with how he performed in the minors, but his home run to flyball rate (12.5 percent) was substantially lower. However, that’s to be expected, and he should only get better as the game slows down for him.
As previously noted, Grisham hits the ball and hits it hard. He recorded just a 13.5 percent soft contact rate last year.
Grisham only attempted one stolen base with Milwaukee last year and successfully converted at second base. He only recorded one out on the basepaths, so the expectation going forward is that he’s a smart baserunner.
After the Padres said goodbye to Manuel Margot, Grisham is expected to be the every centerfielder. He had a fairly even split playing all three outfield spots for the Brewers last year, and his versatility cannot go unnoticed. Perhaps more encouraging, he logged a perfect fielding percentage and helped out with an assist in centerfield as well.
Whenever the season does begin, Grisham is going to be a player to watch, and, along with Tommy Pham, could be one of the most underrated acquisitions during the offseason. Fangraphs pegged him for a .240/.342/.430 line with 20 home runs and 66 RBI in a 143-game sample size.
They also viewed him making significant progress in the strikeout department, reducing his K-rate from 26.2 percent last year to 21.4 percent in 2020.