I like the sound of our Spring Storyline 7. Didi Gregorius is one of the most underrated ball players in action today. And when he was chosen as the guy who would fill the shortstop void left by Derek Jeter, he was put in a difficult position, both physically and mentally. But, he stepped in and did his job despite the steep hill in front of him. Now, just about three years later, Gregorius is making his ability known worldwide and this time it is his bat who is doing the talking.
According to the YES Network, “Didi Gregorius has quietly become one of the Yankees’ most consistent and well-rounded players. He set career-highs in several offensive categories last season, and has started to put together an impressive highlight reel at the diamond’s most crucial defensive position. Is 2017 the year Didi makes the jump to his first career All-Star game?” Maybe. Hopefully. Now take a closer look at this body of work in the World Baseball Classic.
“Gregorius has been the Netherlands’ designated hitter for four of the first five games in the tournament. He was 6-for-16 (.412) in the first four games, and he added a run-scoring double and a three-run home run in the first four innings against Israel,” reported MLB.com last week. Yes, that’s right Didi’s a DH. He is playing on a team where there are two other premium shortstops ahead of him in the roster. Los Angeles Angels short shop Andrelton Simmons and Boston Red Sox short stop Xander Bogaerts both better defensively than Gregorius but Didi’s stick kept the Dutch in the Classic until they lost on Saturday night to Team Puerto Rico.
Gregorius, is a 27-year-old humble kid from Amsterdam, “but like many of his teammates, he lives in Curacao, an island in the Dutch Caribbean. Fourteen players on what is now formally called the Kingdom of the Netherlands team hail from Curacao, including (Dodgers’ closer Kenley) Jansen and Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, as well as the 49-year-old Hensley Meulens, (the Netherlands’ manager), a former utility man and the current hitting coach for the Giants,” reports MLB.com.
Gregorius credits his team in the Bronx for the opportunity of a lifetime. “The Yankees gave me a lot of experience,” Gregorius said. “That’s what actually helped me. Everything helps. Joe gave me a lot of opportunities. So I try to play my best every time I go out there. I’m just trying to learn the game, that’s what I’m trying to do. It’s just an honor for me to be there,” reported MLB.com after the Netherlands loss in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday.
So, no matter who’s the next guy in with the Yankees at short stop this season, Gregorius is making a lot of noise. And if he keeps this up, he will be headed to Miami for the All Star Game this July.
BYB Managing Editor