San Diego Padres’ centerfielder Trent Grisham needs to play every day.
For years, the San Diego Padres struggled to get both offensive and defense production from the centerfield position.
A trade that took place in November of 2019 brought Trent Grisham to the San Diego Padres from the Milwaukee Brewers and all that seemed to be fixed. The Padres paid a hefty price tag, as they dealt highly-touted prospect Luis Urias as well as pitcher Eric Lauer in the acquisition, which brought the Friars Grisham and Zach Davies.
Grisham will be 25 next month and battled for playing time towards the end of the season. The left-handed hitter was in and out of the lineup, especially when the Padres inserted Fernando Tatis Jr. into the outfield. That is concerning.
It is not clear if nagging injuries limited him late in 2021, but if he was healthy- there is no reason for him to be sitting on the bench. A young player with this kind of talent should be playing every day. Trent Grisham is a difference-maker on offense and defense. He needs to be out there when the game is on the line. We all remember the clutch homer against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. He is a player who steps up in big situations.
In 2021, Grisham put up a .242/.327/.413 batting line and a .740 OPS. He slugged 15 homers and drove in 62 runs ammasing a 3.2 WAR (1.0 D-WAR) in 132 games. A 3.2 WAR is pretty decent, considering most consider his second season in San Diego a failure. There is that kind of upside with Grisham.
If not for a horrible month of July where he played in 26 games, recording a .526 OPS, Grisham’s 2021 season would have looked a lot better. In fact, he recorded a .849 OPS, was hitting .274, and smashed 11 homers in the first half of the season. The Padres’ centerfielder collapsed in the second half of 2021 putting up a .629 OPS in 68 games. Grisham struggled with the bat and his ball club began to drop multiple games each week. It is safe to say that Grisham helps power the offense and is a productive player.
There is no argument that Grisham should not play against left-handed pitchers as he actually hit better against them last year. Grisham put up a .824 OPS against southpaws compared to a .712 OPS against right-handed pitchers. He should be playing each day, and again there is no question about that.
As the Padres head into the winter, there is talk of significant movement within the roster. It is not clear if the Padres would part with their young centerfielder, but anything is possible when speaking about A.J. Preller. It would take a lot for the Padres to part with Grisham, though. He is someone to build around.
Hopefully, a new manager and a new coaching staff can unlock even more talent within Grisham. There is still a ton of upside with this young outfielder. In time, he could easily be a perennial All-Star and a focal point of the offense. Unfortunately, the Padres suffer at this historically. They need to develop young players more successfully and help them achieve their abilities. Too often, players reach their peak value away from San Diego. Don’t let Trent Grisham become one of those statistics. Instead, play the man, and sit back enjoy the production.