Since the Yankees traded for Didi Gregorius I have seen a lot of comments on Facebook and at other social media. Positive comments, negative comments and very negative comments. In general the press and baseball analysts were quite positive about him. But the fans…..
Sure there were fans who think that we need to give the kid a chance. It isn’t easy to fill the shoes of a legend. But there were also comments like “he stinks” , “bad move” and “he can’t hit”.
I wonder if all these “fans” that burn him down before he even has set foot in Yankee Stadium, know with what kind of player they are dealing with.
I must admit that his 2014 MLB hitting stats aren’t impressive. But there is more behind. After Didi joined the Diamondbacks on their trip to Australia he was sent down to AAA Reno. Apparently he was disappointed by the move since he struggled at bat in the first weeks. But he fought back and ended his tenure with the Aces with a .387 average when he was called up to Phoenix again. Most of the season he had to deal with a possible demotion because the Diamondbacks were/are very high on Chris Owings. But Owings couldn’t live up to the expectations and the D-Backs couldn’t decide to field which player, which is never good for any player. Eventually Didi got more playing time near the end of the season.
When you look at his season stats, his batting average was just .226. But…. three weeks before the end of the season his average was even lower: .204. In the final three weeks he managed to raise it. In his final ten games he hit .342. So in the end he recovered rather well.
Then his defense. Didi is only 24. He already is an above average shortstop and I think he will only improve. The kid has soft hands and a good reach (better than Jeter ever had). I realize that it is blasphemy to say anything negative about the captain, but due to his limited reach, the number of errors was limited too. The bigger your reach, the bigger the change of making errors.
Just check out this summary of the 2011 World Cup final. Go to 3:51 and see the way Gregorius fields the ball and prevents the runner on second to advance to third. Maybe this will open you eyes. If not, maybe this or this will.
For all those nay sayers that don’t know much about Didi Gregorius, I’d like to say “take the Japanese fans as an example.” No matter how bad a player performs, they will cheer on him. The worst thing that can happen to a player is that the stadium turns silent. But Japanese fans will never boo a player. Just give the kid a chance and don’t start to boo him after just a week.