Who is Trent Grisham, 2x Gold Glove star Yankees got in the Juan Soto trade?

Trent Grisham of the Padres joined Yankees as part of the Juan Soto trade on Dec 6, 2023.

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The Yankees and the Padres orchestrated a trade deal in the last hours of Winter Meetings, sending Trent Grisham and Juan Soto to the Bronx. In return, they acquired a package that included Kyle Higashioka, Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vasquez, as reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Trent Grisham’s stat line from the previous year showcases 13 home runs and 50 RBIs. However, his batting average dipped below .200 for the second consecutive season in 2023. With the formidable presence of Aaron Judge, Alex Verdugo, and the newly added Juan Soto in the outfield mix for the New York team, it appears highly likely that Trent Grisham will assume a backup role with the Yankees come 2024.

Trent Grisham has showcased stellar defensive skills even when enduring offensive struggles. After fielding his position superbly in 2020, he was rewarded with the first Gold Glove Award of his career for defensive excellence. However, he stumbled at the plate in 2022, batting a league-worst .184 average among qualified hitters. Still, Trent Grisham once again flashed leather prowess in the grass, earning his second career Gold Glove despite negligible contributions when stepping into the batter’s box. So while producing runs has proven a challenge lately, the outfielder’s wizardry with the glove garnered back-to-back defensive accolades in 2020 and 2022.

Who is Trent Grisham

Trenton Marcus Grisham, born on November 1, 1996, showcased his prowess as an outfielder with stints at the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres before making his way to the Bronx.

Hailing from the Fort Worth, Texas region, Trent Grisham, an alumnus of Richland High School, rose to prominence as a standout MLB draft prospect. Picked by the Brewers in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft at the 15th spot, he navigated through five seasons in the Brewers’ farm system before making his major league debut in 2019.

Trent Grisham of the Padres joined Yankees as part of the Juan Soto trade on Dec 6, 2023.

After the culmination of the 2019 season, Trent Grisham found himself part of a multi-player trade, transitioning to the Padres and assuming the role of the team’s primary center fielder. His defensive prowess came to the forefront in 2020 when he secured his inaugural Gold Glove Award. Despite posting the league’s lowest batting average among qualified batters at .184 in 2022, Trent Grisham clinched his second career Gold Glove.

Early career

Richland High School in North Richland Hills, Texas, served as the educational backdrop for Trent Grisham’s formative years. In his freshman year, he not only graced the baseball field but also contributed his athleticism to the football team. The junior year marked a standout performance, as Trent Grisham boasted a .441 batting average accompanied by ten home runs. The following senior season showcased his continued prowess with a .552 batting average and three home runs.

During the summer after his junior year, Trent Grisham showcased his skills on the international stage, joining the 18-under Team USA. His impressive statistics included a remarkable .538 batting average, a formidable .923 slugging percentage, 24 RBIs, and ten stolen bases over 12 games. This stellar performance solidified his commitment to Texas Tech University, where he intended to pursue collegiate baseball.

At Milwaukee Brewers

Regarded as a standout prospect for the 2015 Major League Baseball draft, Trent Grisham’s talents caught the eye of the Milwaukee Brewers, who secured him in the first round with the 15th overall pick. Embracing the opportunity, he inked a deal with the Brewers, embarking on his journey in the Arizona League before earning a promotion to the Helena Brewers. Across 55 games spanning both teams, Trent Grisham showcased a formidable .309 batting average, complemented by two home runs, 21 RBIs, and an impressive .854 OPS.

The 2016 season found Grisham donning the uniform of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, where persistent hamstring injuries limited his participation to 59 games. Despite the setbacks, he managed to deliver a performance that included a .231 batting average, two home runs, and 24 RBIs.

Trent Grisham of the Padres joined Yankees as part of the Juan Soto trade on Dec 6, 2023.

In 2017, Trent Grisham transitioned to the Carolina Mudcats, contributing to the team’s efforts with a .223 batting average. Noteworthy were his eight home runs, 45 RBIs, and an impressive tally of 37 stolen bases in 133 games. The subsequent year, 2018, saw him with the Biloxi Shuckers, where he maintained a .233 batting average alongside seven home runs, 31 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases across 107 games. The commencement of the 2019 season had Grisham wearing the colors of the San Antonio Missions.

August 1, 2019, marked a pivotal moment for Trent Grisham as the Brewers selected his contract, propelling him to the major leagues. On that very day, he made his long-awaited major league debut against the Oakland Athletics.

Trade to San Diego Padres

Trent Grisham started his 2020 season at San Diego. Fast forward to August 22, 2020, a remarkable day for him as he notched his inaugural multi-home run performance. The homers came in quick succession in the first and second innings, with Brandon Bielak of the Houston Astros feeling the impact. The seventh inning witnessed Trent Grisham achieving a rare feat – his first-ever three-homer game, a feat not seen in Padres history since Hunter Renfroe’s display on June 14, 2019, against Joe Biagini.

The abbreviated 2020 season concluded with Trent Grisham’s bat making a notable impact, boasting a .251/.352/.456 slash line. In 59 games, he contributed 10 home runs and 26 RBIs to the Padres’ cause. Beyond his offensive prowess, Trent Grisham showcased his defensive acumen by leading NL outfielders with 134 putouts, earning him the esteemed National League Gold Glove Award in the capacity of a center fielder.

Commencing the 2021 season presented challenges for Trent Grisham as he found himself on the Injured List (IL) due to a hamstring strain sustained in early spring training. Despite the setback, he made a triumphant return to the team on April 9, only to face another obstacle with a left heel bruise that led to him missing 20 games midway through the season. Undeterred, Trent Grisham assumed the crucial role of the Padres’ everyday center fielder, making 118 starts in that position during the course of the year. His overall performance for the season tallied a .242/.327/.413 slash line, accompanied by 15 home runs, 62 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases in 132 games. Notably, he took on the leadoff position in 52 of his starts.

The following year, 2022, posed a different challenge for Trent Grisham as he encountered a dip in his batting average, recording .184/.284/.341 across 451 at-bats—the lowest in the majors. Despite this, he led the league in sacrifice hits, totaling seven.

Setting the stage for 2023, Trent Grisham secured his immediate future with the Padres by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3.175 million on January 13. This move served to sidestep the uncertainties of salary arbitration.

However, a significant shift occurred on December 6, 2023, when the Padres executed a trade, sending Trent Grisham and Juan Soto to the New York Yankees. This transaction marked a new chapter in his career, unfolding against the backdrop of changing team dynamics.

2024: Trent Grisham’s silent impact in balancing New York Yankees outfield

Trent Grisham’s acquisition by the New York Yankees, alongside the more publicized trade for Juan Soto, positions him as a significant component of the team’s strategy for the 2024 season. Grisham, known for his exceptional defensive skills, is set to play a pivotal role despite his underwhelming .198/.315/.352 slash line across 153 games in 2023. With 13 home runs, 50 RBIs, and a 91 wRC+, his performance was below the league average, yet his defensive metrics—+1 Defensive Runs Saved and +7 Outs Above Average—underscore his value in the outfield.

The 2024 ZiPS projections forecast an improvement for Grisham, suggesting a .219 batting average with .322 on-base and .402 slugging percentages over 140 games. Expected to hit 18 home runs and drive in 60 RBIs, his projected 103 wRC+ and 2.8 fWAR indicate a rebound, particularly emphasizing his defensive prowess. Grisham’s 2020 season, where he achieved a 122 wRC+ with top quartile metrics in xwOBA, barrel, walk, and chase rates, serves as a benchmark for his potential impact with the Yankees.

Grisham’s 2023 performance, characterized by a career-best 13.5 percent walk rate and improvements in exit velocity (90.3 mph) and barrel rate (11.9 percent), suggests underexploited offensive capabilities. The emphasis on refining his selectivity at the plate could enhance his performance, reducing strikeouts and increasing productive at-bats.

Defensively, Grisham is distinguished as one of the league’s top outfielders since 2020, with 38 Statcast Outs Above Average. His agility and reaction times significantly contribute to his defensive value, offering the Yankees strategic flexibility in managing their outfield, particularly concerning Aaron Judge’s positioning.

New York Yankees Trent Grishan Juan Soto at Spring Training 2024
Instagram/ Yankees

The Yankees’ outfield strategy, considering Grisham’s reverse platoon splits and those of Alex Verdugo, could optimize matchups against left-handed and right-handed pitchers. Grisham’s superior performance against lefties (124 wRC+) complements Verdugo’s against righties (109 wRC+), suggesting a dynamic outfield alignment to maximize offensive output and defensive coverage.

Moreover, Grisham’s role extends beyond on-field performance, providing the Yankees with depth and flexibility. This is especially relevant in managing Jasson Domínguez’s return from Tommy John surgery, allowing for a cautious approach to reintegrating the prospect into the major league environment.

Can Trent Grisham resurrect his career in pinstripes? Leave your comment below.

Standard Batting

5 Yrs5472041175325237889116121546102375350.2160.3160.3830.69995672242513113
162 Game Avg.162604519751122631864143701580.2160.3160.3830.6999519977431
Baseball Reference

Postseason Batting

3 Yrs (6 Series)19776510111037009280.1690.2990.3230.6222103001-0.34-5.40%
3 NLWC7302274002300680.1820.40.4550.85510020000.040.60%
2 NLDS72824271014003110.2920.3930.4580.85111010010.050.70%
1 NLCS5191910000000090000000000-0.43-6.80%
Baseball Reference

Career Graph

Gold GlovesWAR Position PlayersDefensive WARGames Played
2020 NL (CF)
2022 NL (CF)
All multiple winners
2020 NL 2.5 (10th)2020 NL 0.9 (6th)2020 NL 59 (8th)
Plate AppearancesRuns ScoredTriplesStolen Bases
2020 NL 252 (8th)2020 NL 42 (8th)2020 NL 3 (4th)2020 NL 10 (5th)
Sacrifice HitsSB %Power-Speed #Total Zone Runs
2022 NL 7 (4th)
2023 NL 4 (10th)
2020 NL 90.91 (4th)2020 NL 10.0 (6th)2022 NL 16 (4th)
Def. Games as CF (s.1901)Putouts as CF (s.1901)Assists as CF (s.1901)Errors Committed as CF (s.1901)
2020 NL 59 (2nd)
2021 NL 127 (2nd)
2022 NL 148 (2nd)
2023 NL 153 (1st)
Active 508 (18th)
2020 NL 134 (1st)
2021 NL 274 (3rd)
2022 NL 341 (1st)
2023 NL 303 (4th)
Active 1,082 (19th)
2020 NL 3 (1st)2020 NL 2 (1st)
2021 NL 4 (1st)
2023 NL 4 (1st)
Active 12 (13th)
Double Plays Turned as CF (s.1901)Def. Games as OFPutouts as OFAssists as OF
2020 NL 1 (1st)
2021 NL 1 (5th)
Active 4 (22nd)
2020 NL 59 (2nd)
2022 NL 148 (3rd)
2023 NL 153 (5th)
2020 NL 134 (1st)
2022 NL 341 (1st)
2020 NL 3 (5th)
Errors Committed as OFDouble Plays Turned as OFTotal Zone Runs as CF (s.1953)Range Factor/9Inn as CF (s.1948)
2020 NL 2 (4th)2020 NL 1 (3rd)2020 NL 8 (1st)
2021 NL 10 (2nd)
2022 NL 16 (1st)
Active 35 (8th)
Career 35 (54th)
2020 NL 2.48 (5th)
2022 NL 2.71 (4th)
Active 2.40 (13th)
Range Factor/Game as CF (s.1901)Fielding % as CF (s.1901)Total Zone Runs as OF (s.1953)Range Factor/9Inn as OF
2020 NL 2.32 (3rd)
2021 NL 2.17 (4th)
2022 NL 2.32 (4th)
Active 2.15 (15th)
2021 NL .986 (2nd)
2022 NL .994 (2nd)
Active .989 (13th)
Career .989 (62nd)
2020 NL 8 (4th)
2022 NL 16 (2nd)
Active 37 (18th)
2022 NL 2.71 (5th)
Active 2.37 (14th)
Range Factor/Game as CF (s.1901)
2020 NL 2.32 (3rd)
2021 NL 2.17 (4th)
2022 NL 2.32 (5th)
Active 2.14 (14th)
Baseball Reference

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