Sunday, December 7, 2014

Making a Case for a Gregorius Offensive Bounceback

First and foremost I want to start off by saying that I was 100% in favor of basically the Shane Greene for Didi Gregorius trade. As much as I love Shane Greene and that slider he is replaceable in the organization with Bryan Mitchell, in the farm system with Manny Banuelos and on the free agency market with Brandon McCarthy, Jon Lester and/or Max Scherzer. There are no above average shortstops on the team right now and the farm system is barren at the position, although not as barren as the free agency market. Didi is better than Stephen Drew, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jed Lowrie and Brendan Ryan.

I realize that Gregorius is not without his faults, especially on the offensive side of the game, but that doesn't worry me as much when I look at the stats. First it's worth mentioning that Didi was a much better hitter in Triple-A than he has been in the majors but I have to wonder if he is due for a breakout season. In 2014 Gregorius hit just .226 in 80 games and still gathered a WAR, 1.1, that was more than five times better than Derek Jeter's 0.2 WAR.

I think Didi has simply fallen into a mixture of not playing enough while running into some bad luck when he plays. First and foremost Gregorius needs to play everyday and the team needs to ditch the "Brendan Ryan platoon" right now before it gets into his head. I mention this because Didi's BAbip was incredibly low at .257, down from his career BAbip of .280 (which granted is a little skewed by a partial season in 2012 with Cincinnati), while his line drive percentage was up to 28% and has gone up every season in the majors. These stats, along with the fact that Didi is still young and left handed inside Yankee Stadium, tell me that Gregorius is due to bounce back and possibly breakout as soon as 2015.

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