Beyond Pedro Alvarez, Grossman was one of the first indications that drafts were going to be different under the Huntington/Coonelly regime. Grossman was slated to be a supplemental first round/second round talent in the 2008 draft, but fell because of his commitment to the University of Texas. The Pirates drafted him in the sixth round and signed him to a bonus in the million dollar ballpark.
As a minor leaguer, he’s been compared in some places to Nate McLouth. McLouth, if you’ll recall was initially thought of as a guy that hit like a center fielder, but couldn’t field well enough to stick in the position. In his first full professional season at West Viriginia in 2008, Grossman put up an intriguing .266/.373/.355 line. It’s intriguing because he struck out 164 times and walked 79 in 535 plate appearances. At any rate, even with the enormous strikeout rate, it’s a decent line from a kid that hopped straight from high school to full-season ball and he’ll be worth keeping an eye on in Bradenton (the Pirates’ new affiliate in the Florida State League) in 2010.
July 2010 Update: I still like Grossman, but his lack of offense is starting to become a concern. His massive strikeout total from last year is down a bit, but it’s still awfully high (79 Ks in 356 PAs) and he’s only hitting .223/.329/.321. He’s really struggling against righties so far this year. He’s still awfully young, though (20) and he is on pace for more extra-base hits this year than last year so hopefully he can pull himself together in the second part of the season.