What to expect from Didi Gregorius


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.

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15 Responses to What to expect from Didi Gregorius

  1. Guest says:

    A buddy of mine who played for the Phillies and Indians said Didi was brutal. I hope he is wrong!

    • Celerino says:

      Grady Sizemore? Anyway Didi has a great glove, good power and so-so average against righties, and yes was brutal against lefties. He's 24 going on 25 and players that age usually haven't peaked yet. I have to assume there is room for improvement.

  2. @DaveGian says:

    I'm thinking dWAR of 1.0 or better. At bat, .260/.340/.400 seems like a nice slash to try for. He could — COULD — hit 15 homers and steal 15 bases if he gets hot. He's not the kind of talent, however, who stays hot all year. He will be up and down.

    • I'm just curious — what about Didi's career makes you think he's going to steal 15 bases? He has stolen 3 in all of his time in the majors and averaged about 6 a year in the minors (and that's with worse catchers).

  3. hotdog says:

    The problem for Gregorius is facing left handed pitching…lifetime of .184 and seems to be trending downwards…in 2014, he hit .137…you can platoon him with a better hitting utility infielder from the right side but if Gregorius has a future, he needs to improve how he hits lefties…who knows, maybe he can learn how to switch hit, he's young enough to try if he hasn't already…

    • Celerino says:

      I don't think you can analyze trends on a 24 year old with 2 years at the major league level. Yes he needs to improve vs. lefties. Supposedly he's been working hard at it this winter and hopefully he can step up this year. Most players don't peak until 26 or 27, so he has time.

  4. Robert Rufa says:

    I still think they should try Didi at 2nd. He's still young enough to make the switch. Drew is a natural SS, and if being at home on defense restores his offense, it would be a worthwhile experiment.

    • Drew is gone after 2015. Didi will be around for 5 more years. Considering the Yankees have a 2nd baseman, Rob Refsnyder coming up, what would be the point of moving Didi to 2nd for 1 season?

      • YankeezFan says:

        Didi played 2nd base for the Dbacks last year, so they may have thought he might not be the solution at SS. So playing him at 2nd base isnt a bad idea, he wasnt that great at SS last year, -3.0 Uzr. Drew is a better defender than Didi, and the Yankees replacement for Jeter is probably not on a Major League roster at the moment.

  5. Balt Yank says:

    The Yankee infield has a low bar considering $40 million man Chase H. hits 250, Didi hits 250 on a good day, Drew may hit himself to being released, and TEX hits 230. Yikes. These dudes can field though. It is the worst hitting Yankee infield I have ever seen, simply put.

    • Celerino says:

      Your lucky. I've seen worse. I borrowed my screen name from Celerino Sanchez, the last Yankee thirdbasemen before they got Graig Nettles. He was a star in the Mexican League, but couldn't hit major league pitching. Neither could any of the other infielders of that era. Gene Michael became a great gm and had a slick glove, but didn't hit more than .220.

  6. Balt Yank says:

    Celerino, LOL. I grew up with Mattingly. Of course, what you're saying in essence is this infield is only better than the mid-1970s Yankees, kinda like saying Nixon was a better president than Herbert Hoover or GW Bush II.

    • Celerino says:

      Not really saying that. The 2015 infield is a healthy step up from recent years. We should also have a nice upgrade from the farm at second this year or next, and at first in another year. I like the direction the team is going.

  7. YankeezFan says:

    Didi's defense is overrated, his defense got worse last year as he played to a -3 Uzr at SS, while Drew has a +3 Uzr at SS. If they wanted a defensive specialist maybe they should have just signed Drew for SS, mind you Brendan Ryan was only a -1 Uzr. Garrett Jones who is also the backup to Texeria has a -6 Uzr, so we better hope that Tex stays healthy, Jones is pedestrian when it comes to 1st base, even Swisher had a 1.6 when he played with the Yankees, so it should be entertaining season in the field. Im not expecting much from didi, he's a line drive hitter, so dont expect his HR total to go up much. I feel that the Yankees replacement for Jeter may still be in the minors with the Yankees or someone else atm.

  8. Balt Yank says:

    If Didi is not that valuable a defender, it seems Cashman again is thinking cheap and hoping for the moon. That seems the trend these days. We would have been better w/ Drew at SS and keeping Shane Greene, a valuable 5th man starting pitcher. FYI, Nixon was a worse president than Hoover. Hoover was incompetent. Nixon was evilly adept.

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