Monday, December 8, 2014

Gregorius Will Do Fine in New York, Scout Who Signed Him Says

Replacing Derek Jeter as the Yankees' shortstop won't be easy for Didi Gregorius. Nobody is saying otherwise. 

But he will be able to handle it, at least according to Reds global scouting coordinator Jim Stoeckel. Stoeckel thinks Gregorius' composure will allow him to succeed in the role, which Jeter held for the past two decades.

And Stoeckel is one to talk, having signed Gregorius in 2007 when he was still just an amateur free agent. 

“He’s comfortable in his skin, handles failure well," Stoeckel told The New York Daily News' Anthony McCarron this weekend. "He’s just a real easy going guy. Nothing gets to him. He’ll love being in New York and, if people give him a chance, they’ll love him.”

Gregorius is projected to have a 5.2 defensive WAR in 2015 to Jeter's 4.0 in 2014, so it's likely people won't have any issues with his glove next season. 

However, his offense could still use some help. He hit just .226 in 270 at-bats with the Diamondbacks last year, something Stoeckel agrees he needs to improve. 

“I think what he needs is to stay healthy, get 500 at-bats and let’s see what the body of work is at the end of it,” he said. “It’s a perfect time for him and a perfect club. Some guys might have a little trouble jumping in there, but he won’t. He’s a very, very good guy, similar, personality-wise, to Jeter. Quiet, intense, always happy."

All that and, for the moment, platooning with Brendan Ryan until he proves himself. Granted, Ryan's a lifelong backup who probably won't keep things that way for too long, but nonetheless, that's the position Gregorius is in right now. 

It'll be interesting to see how quickly he's able to claim the starting job for himself when the season kicks off in April, though it's still unknown how high in the order he'll bat. 

1 comment:

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)