New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is off to great start to the 2018 season and a lot of his damage at the plate has come at Yankee Stadium
Home-field advantage is a huge factor in sports most of the time. There’s nothing quite like playing surrounding by thousands of die-hard fans chanting your name.
Yankee Stadium played a really big factor for the New York Yankees during the postseason last year, with the Bronx Bombers winning all six of their home playoff games in 2017. Like most Yankees players, Didi Gregorius has had great success playing at the Stadium, especially when it comes to hitting home runs into the right-field porch.
In his three-plus years with the Yankees, 38 of Gregorius’ 64 home runs have been at Yankee Stadium. His bomb in the team’s 7-4 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night gave him nine home runs on the season, all of which have come in his home park.
Not just home runs, but Gregorius’ numbers are overall better in the Bronx. Out of the 242 RBIs he has accumulated over the last three-plus seasons, 132 of those have come at home. 83 percent of his total RBI this season have come at Yankee Stadium (25 of 30).
Gregorius is taking advantage of the dimensions at Yankee Stadium, especially the short right field porch, points out Jordan Shusterman of MLB.com.
Most of the 38 home runs that Gregorius has hit at Yankee Stadium have been over the 314-foot mark. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Gregorius is one of the biggest left-handed pull hitters in baseball and that part of his game has only become stronger since joining the Yankees.
Gregorius has the eighth highest pull rate in the league among left-handed at 48.7 percent, according to Shusterman.
All 64 of Gregorius’ home runs with the Yankees have been either hit to right field or right center.
“I’m not a home run hitter,” Gregorius said after the Yankees’ win over Minnesota on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. “I’m trying to hit line drives all over the place. If they go out, they go out. I’m not trying to change anything, I’m staying consistent to what I can do, and that’s hit line drives all over the place, line to line.”
Along with the nine home runs and almost 90 percent of his RBI totals, Gregorius is batting .418 at The Stadium with an on-base percentage of .529. Who needs a big lefty bopper like Jay Bruce when Gregorius is off to a fantastic start for the Yankees.
After Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, Gregorius’ 30 RBIs are the best in all of baseball, while his .368 batting average tops the entire American League. His team-leading 10 home runs tie him with Mike Trout for the most homers in the league.
Gregorius’ .459 on-base percentage is also one of the best in the American League, standing just behind teammate Aaron Judge’s league-leading .462 on-base mark.
His great start to the 2018 campaign has him on a good path of earning his first All-Star appearance and Gregorius can thank playing at Yankee Stadium a lot for that.
While Gregorius is thanking the Stadium, Yankees fans are likely designing a golden statue to dedicate to general manager Brian Cashman for that steal of a trade that was so unpopular in December of 2014.
Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports.