Yesterday we discussed what the Yankees could expect from Stephen Drew as he attempts to bounce back from a horrific 2014 campaign. Today, we discuss Didi Gregorius, who has big shoes to fill following the retirement of Derek Jeter.
Following Derek Jeter’s retirement last season, the Yankees needed a shortstop and instead of taking the free agency route, the Yankees made a trade, sending Shane Greene to the Detroit Tigers and getting Didi Gregorius from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Gregorius is what the Yankees have been looking for–a young defensive shortstop that could have a future in the organization. While Gregorius is only 24-years-old, he has also shown glimpses of promise with the bat. In 2013, he hit .252/.332/.373 with 7 HR’s and 28 RBI’s in 103 games and in 2014, he hit .226/.290/.363 with 6 HR and 27 RBI’s in 80 games.
At this time, the Yankees aren’t majorly concerned about Gregorius’s offense considering most of the offense should come from the middle of the order, but the Yankees hope Gregorius grows into his bat and becomes an offensive star for the team. However, while the Yankees are expecting Gregorius to play defense, there’s one thing the Yankees would like him to remember.
Gregorius has some big shoes to fill, those shoes being of Yankee-legend Derek Jeter. The Yankees don’t want Gregorius trying to be a player he’s not; while he’s technically replacing Derek Jeter at the position, he’s not supposed to replace every other aspect of Jeter. Joe Girardi has told the media he plans on speaking to Gregorius before Spring Training, just so he can assure him that Gregorius only has to be himself. The offense will come in time, but for now the Yankees are more focused on his range at shortstop. And if Gregorius doesn’t pan out, the team always could place Stephen Drew at short.
The team has belief Gregorius will be a good shortstop, but all they want from him is to be ‘Didi Gregorius’, not ‘Derek Jeter’s replacement’.
Tomorrow: We discuss what the Yankees expect from Chase Headley, who is slated to be the Yankees every day third basemen in 2015.