Athletics

Grossman 'absolutely killing it' as A's best hitter in 2020

Athletics
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Robbie Grossman casually mentioned an adjustment he made when his productivity at the plate began to get attention earlier in the season.

Following the A’s 4-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, he went into more detail.

“I have to give a lot of credit to (A’s hitting coach Darren Bush)," Grossman explained, "he’s given me all the information, everything I need to become the player I want to be, and shown me the position I need to be in every time to make hard contact and that’s my goal every time.

“Just my body position, to use my legs and use the ground as force and I have stuck with it and continued to get better at it. It’s helping me consistently square up the ball.”

The A’s outfielder now is hitting .292/.452/.615 on the season with four home runs and a weighted runs created plus (wRC+) metric that ranks 92 percent above league average. Clearly, that's not just an adjustment -- it's a game-changer.

Grossman has tirelessly worked on it, starting in spring training and into quarantine, which was easy for him since gyms -- and where he would hit -- remained open in Houston, TX. He didn’t have to take any days off, which also was a bonus. 

“He’s having a great year,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “At this point, with the amount of at-bats he has right now, this might be his best start and he’s hitting the ball, he’s got a little more juice this year too with staying back and using his legs a little bit more so it’s a really good spot for him there in the lineup to be able to drive in some runs which in the past hasn’t been his role, but he’s been pretty good for us in that role.”

 

Grossman also has posted a .409 expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA), which ranks in the top eight percent of all hitters this season.

Is that good? It sounds good. 

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Grossman also is creating a bit of a breather for teammates. Mark Canha, who had a home run of his own Wednesday night, raved about having a guy of Grossman’s caliber in the lineup.  

“You look at the numbers, he’s by-and-large our most productive player right now, he’s absolutely killing it,” Canha said. “I think every team kind of needs that guy, that cornerstone in the lineup that you know is going to give you a good at-bat, and the way he’s slugging right now, it’s just outstanding. It’s really kind of picked up our offense in the past couple weeks.”