See also: Baseball America updated all its prospect rankings for subscribers in August.
In one of the most meteoric rises in baseball this season, 21-year-old shortstop Vaughn Grissom climbed from High-A Rome to Atlanta in just four months.
Grissom hit .324/.405/.494 with 14 home runs and 27 stolen bases in 96 minor league games. Assigned to Rome in April, he earned a bump to Double-A Mississippi in mid July and then a callup to the Braves on Aug. 10.
Injuries to Ozzie Albies and his replacement Orlando Arcia prompted the Braves to call up Grissom up from Double-A to play second base. He responded by homering in his MLB debut at Boston’s Fenway Park.
Grissom is an advanced hitter. He was difficult to strike out in the minors—just 14% of the time this season—and had maintained his contact skills and showcased his raw power in the big leagues. His maturity level helped him find quick success, much like fellow Braves rookies Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider.
The Braves drafted Grissom in the 11th round in 2019, taking him from the same Orlando-area high school that also produced Tigers first-rounder Riley Greene that year.
“I don’t want to use the word ‘surprised,’ because I feel like that doesn’t give Vaughn enough credit,” Braves farm director Ben Sestanovich said, “but I think you’re always a little surprised (by sustained immediate success) just because of how big the jump is.
“Whenever we talk about bringing guys up, we’re hoping they can hold their own to start. Then once they get their feet under them, we look forward to them contributing. But to see Vaughn go up and contribute right away has been really encouraging and a testament to the head he has on his shoulders.”
Grissom had hit .321/.368/.509 with five homers and five steals through his first 29 games, playing exclusively second base.
Grissom is destined for another position when Albies returns—he focused on shortstop and third base in the minors—and could be bound for the outfield with Austin Riley entrenched at third and shortstop Dansby Swanson a candidate to be re-signed as a free agent.
— Third baseman/outfielder Justyn-Henry Malloy emphatically put himself on the prospect radar this season at High-A Rome and Double-A Mississippi. The 22-year-old hit .299/.412/.471 with 16 homers and 75 RBIs through 119 games.
The Braves drafted Malloy out of Georgia Tech in the sixth round in 2021. The New Jersey prep product spent his first two collegiate seasons at Vanderbilt, playing just 26 games, before shining in his lone season for the Yellow Jackets. Malloy could be the latest find for vice president of scouting Dana Brown, whose recent drafts have paid immediate dividends.