Photo courtesy of sportsonearth.com
By: Ross Sutton
During the Yankees six-game win streak, Didi Gregorius has been key to his team’s success. Didi was a major factor for the Yankees last year too, especially during the postseason, when he hit a stadium-shaking three-run home run to tie the AL Wild Card game at three n the bottom of the first inning. Then, during the ALDS against the Indians, Didi hit two home runs off of AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber in the series. Didi has even appeared to take a step forward this season, working more walks than he has previously in his career. Gregorius has also seen a bit of a power surge this season and is currently second in the MLB with nine home runs, behind only Mike Trout who has ten. To expand further on how underrated Didi is, here are some stats I saw the other other day in a tweet via @AstrosRants:
Last 162 games:
Mookie Betts- .272 BA/.354 OBP/.492 Slugging
30 Home Runs
Didi Gregorius- .291 BA/.332 OBP/.507 Slugging
33 Home Runs
I found these stats incredibly interesting, as the media always talks highly of Betts (as they should), but Didi is hardly ever mentioned amongst the media. During MLB Network’s “Top Ten Right Now” segment this offseason, they ranked the top ten players at each position. In their ranking, they did not even rank Didi as a top ten shortstop in the league which is shameful, as Didi was fantastic last year and he has proven this year that 2017 was no fluke. Didi is so important to the Yankees success that he bats third in one of the best lineups in the league. Since manager Aaron Boone moved Didi in between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup, the team has really hit their stride and has had one of the most productive offenses in the game. Not only does Didi hit extremely well, but he plays great defense at shortstop. Last year, Didi only committed nine errors the whole year and had a .982 fielding percentage, which is tied for fourth best in the MLB among shortstops who played more than 130 games in 2017. When you combine Didi’s lethal bat with his gold glove caliber defense, you get a player that is one of the league’s top shortstops that deserves far more recognition than he has received.
P.S- The Yankees will try to continue their win streak tonight, as they start a three-game series against the Angels in Los Angeles. The Yankees are starting the team ace Luis Severino (2.32 ERA) and the Angels are starting Andrew Heaney (9.64 ERA).
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