Rise of Didi Gregorius will help Yankees for years to come

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Gary Sanchez
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Gary Sanchez /

Didi Gregorius had a season to remember for the Yankees in 2017, becoming a premier shortstop in the process.

Didi Gregorius has slowly transformed into the kind of player you can trust in the most important of games. Gregorius was traded from the Diamondbacks after hitting only .226 in 2014, and the Yankees just had to give up Shane Greene for him.

The Yanks didn’t expect much from Sir Didi, he was seen primarily as a defensive player with little pop, and New York acquired him to be a stopgap shortstop after Derek Jeter retired.

But Gregorius proved he belonged in 2015 and 2016, setting career highs with 73 runs scored, 25 home runs and 87 runs batted last season.

Gregorius also led the Yankees with 44 multi-hit games in 2017, putting up his impressive numbers despite missing the first month of the season with a right shoulder strain. His 25 home runs set a franchise record for most long balls in a single season by a shortstop, surpassing Derek Jeter’s 24 in 1999.

Sir Didi also hit 20 dingers in ’16, becoming the first Yankees’ shortstop to hit 20 home runs in back-to-back seasons.

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Gregorius’ success carried into the postseason, as he hit three home runs with seven RBI over 13 games, including two homers and three RBI in Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Indians.

He also made history, becoming the first player to hit two home runs in a Game 5 of a division series since Carlos Beltran, back in 2004.

There’s been a constant improvement from Didi Gregorius in New York. His batting average, home run and RBI totals have gone up since joining the club in 2015, as well as his slugging percentage and his 107 Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) last season were a career-high.

Sir Didi will be 28-years-old on Opening Day, and there are plenty of reasons to believe he can still get even better.

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The Giancarlo Stanton trade impacts every aspect of the team and Gregorius’ potential new spot in the lineup will help him reach his full potential as a run producer.

Sir Didi’s future with the Yankees is bright, and he will get another chance to deliver in 2018.