New York Yankees

New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is continuing to improve in his first season to the point he’s looking like a future star.

By Jamie Martin

When the New York Yankees acquired Didi Gregorius from the Arizona Diamondbacks, many fans and professionals questioned the move. At the time, the Amsterdam native was an unproven, inconsistent shortstop who had rarely impressed on the big league level. But the Yankees saw enough to execute a trade which involved three teams and saw Shane Greene depart New York.

Now the trade, completed in early December, is looking like a huge win for the Yankees.

Shane Greene, traded to the Tigers in the same deal, is 4-8 with a 6.88 ERA and will be sidelined with injury for the rest of the current season. He appeared to be very promising in his debut season with the Yankees, which led many to be unhappy with the deal. But now, with Greene’s flaws evident, many fans will struggle to even remember him in a Yankee uniform.

Gregorius on the other hand, has put his past struggles behind him and continues to improve in each game he plays for the New York Yankees. The 25-year old is batting .263 with 7 home runs and 42 runs batted in. His defense has also noticeably improved and he has been able to exhibit his flashy arm with impressive plays in the infield.

A left handed bat, Gregorius has steadily improved since April, raising his batting average each month with the exception of August.

  • April: .206
  • May: .232
  • June: .258
  • July: .317

As he has settled into New York and the hype of replacing Derek Jeter, Gregorius has continued to get better and will likely keep up a similar pattern in the future.

Fans should give Gregorius credit, he has adapted to a difficult situation with a great amount of professionalism and has shown exemplary behavior. The amount of press and questions he had to answer after filling Derek Jeter’s shoes at shortstop was a lot to handle for such a young player.

Gregorius discussed the Jeter comparisons back in February.

“I’m not thinking about replacing anything, it’s just me coming in and play my game,” Gregorius said. “I know they’re going to compare me to Derek Jeter, but nobody can play the same as [he] did.”

People will always compare Gregorius to Jeter, but he is not a replacement, nobody can replace Derek Jeter. He is a player that has and will continue to help the Yankees with both his glove and his bat and represents the future of a franchise trying so hard to get younger.

Didi Gregorius is a team player, one that is excited every time the club wins and acknowledges this by tweeting regularly. He is impressive and will only get better. He is what the Yankees needed, not a replacement, but a young player with the potential to be great.

As the Yankees face a playoff race with the Toronto Blue Jays, Gregorius will be presented with an even bigger task. There is no question that he has the ability and composure to perform on the big stage.

Didi Gregorius is not an All-Star, he isn’t a big name player, but he is becoming one of the most important players on the Yankee roster. As he continues to prove the doubters wrong, Gregorius will be thankful for the faith the organization has shown in him.

Acquiring Didi Gregorius is a move that could end up being a great one for the Yankees franchise. They are already reaping the benefits.

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Jamie Martin is an aspiring sports journalist who covers the MLB, MLS, and the English Premier League. He is a huge fan of the New York Yankees and Manchester United.