This upcoming season, Didi Gregorius may be in one of the toughest situations in the MLB. He is coming to a storied organization in the New York Yankees that expects players to perform and ultimately to win a championship. Gregorius will be under the watchful eye of many fans as a newcomer. He can be sure to be the topic of conversation among fans both in the ballpark and on social media due to being a newbie to the organization. Let’s face it though; he will be under the microscope first and foremost because of who he is replacing. The Derek Jeter era is over. Replacing one of the greatest New York Yankees of all-time is going to be tough. It goes without saying, Jeter was a leader on and off the field, and was the most beloved athlete in New York during his 20 years. Didi Gregorius will have to deal with the New York media as well as every fan viewing him as the replacement.
However, Didi Gregorius views the situation in a different manner according to Bryan Hoch.
"“You can’t replace a legend, and it’s not replacing,” Gregorius said Wednesday on MLB Network Radio. “He has been playing for a long time at shortstop and he decided to retire. The spot was open, so I’m not thinking about replacing anything. It’s just me just coming in there to try to play my game.”"
In 2013, Gregorius hit .252 with an on-base percentage of .332, seven home runs, and 28 RBI’s in 103 games. Those numbers are fairly similar to Derek Jeter’s numbers in his final season, where he finished the year with a .256 avg, .304 OBP, four home runs and 50 RBI’s.
Gregorius is coming off a 2014 campaign that saw him hit .226 with six home runs and 27 RBI’s. Those numbers must improve greatly in order for him to hear cheers from the fans. The Yankees have talked about how Gregorius will split time with Brendan Ryan this year depending on the pitching match-up. Didi Gregorius bats lefty, which should help increase his statistical numbers by hitting in Yankees stadium.
"“I know they expect a lot of you,” Gregorius said. “I’m just going to go out there and just play the game hard. That’s the way I play the game every time. And maybe they’re going to see something different about me that they didn’t see before, so I think that’s one big thing for me and for the fans, too, maybe to get to know me a little bit better when I start playing the game.”"
He doesn’t shy away from the truth, and knows what the fans want. Fans will respect him for the effort him gives, but all that matters is winning a championship. Didi Gregorius has the challenge of playing after the greatest shortstop of all-time. He has a great opportunity in front of him, and hopefully he can step up and become a consistent winner for the New York Yankees.
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