As the Pittsburgh Pirates look for outfield help this offseason, former Pirate prospect Robbie Grossman could be a fit in free agency
Even though the Pittsburgh Pirates have a great outfield anchor in Bryan Reynolds, the team is in need of outfield help this offseason. While Ji-Hwan Bae is an intriguing potential option for left field, or center field with Reynolds sliding back to left field, and Jack Suwinski flashed some last season, the team still needs more outfield depth.
A potential depth option that the Pittsburgh Pirates could pursue in free agency is Robbie Grossman. The former Pirate prospect is now 33-years-old and coming off a down offensive season in 2022, but could still be a strong addition for outfield depth.
At one time Grossman was a member of the Pirate farm system and a top 100 prospect in baseball. In a trade that feels like a lifetime ago, he was traded to the Houston Astros as part of the Wandy Rodriguez trade in July 2012.
Since then, Grossman has gone on to accumulate 3896 MLB plate appearances in 1011 games across 10 MLB seasons. Grossman has played for five teams, the aforementioned Astros, Minnesota Twins, Oakland A’s, Detroit Tigers, and Atlanta Braves.
The switch-hitting Grossman has hit for a .245/.346/.377 slash line wit ha 103 wRC+ and a 101 OPS+. Getting on base has always been Grossman’s best trait as a hitter, owning a lifetime walk rate of 12.8% which is a big factor in his strong career on-base percentage.
Last season, as we mentioned, was a down year for Grossman. While he still drew walks at a strong 11.7% clip, his 27.0% strikeout rate was his highest since 2015. He hit for a .209/.310/.311 slash line with a wRC+ of 82 and an OPS+ of 80.
Grossman continues to be a strong defensive outfielder. He posted a +4 Defensive Runs Saved in the outfield last season an Outs Above Average of +1. When he has struggled defensively in his career it has most come in left field. As a left fielder, his career DRS is -17 and OAA is -10. However, the Pirates would likely look to use Grossman in right field which would make this a none issue.
Grossman could provide the Pittsburgh Pirates with a strong outfield depth option. With Grossman being a switch-hitter, he could be a platoon partner with Suwinski in right field. After all, Suwinski has proven he can hit right-handed pitching. Finding him a platoon partner might be the best option for the Pirates in addressing their outfield needs this offseason, Grossman could be this player.