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Friday, December 5, 2014

2015 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALZER: DIDI GREGORIOUS SS NEW YORK YANKEES

The New York Yankees made it a point to find some stability at the shortstop position for the 2015 season, a gargantuan task since they would be finding the replacement for arguably one of the greatest to ever play the position in Derek Jeter.  After Stephen Drew proved to be a horrible-hitting ill fit, GM Brian Cashman decided to go the trade route Friday as he acquired Didi Gregorious from the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a three-team deal which also included the Detroit Tigers.  The 25-year-old youngster will no have the unenviable task of replacing Jeter and despite having some promise, his results thus far at the major league level have been shaky.  With that said, let's take a closer look at Gregorious as far as what kind of impact he could have......if any....for the 2015 season. 

Gregorious was a guy who carried some hype as he came up the Arizona farm system after he was signed as an undrafted free agent out of the Netherlands of all places by the Cincinnati Reds.  He quickly earned a reputation as a top-notch defender whose very good speed and developing bat pointed to Gregorious being something more.  The D-Backs gave Gregorious a shot in the 2013 season and needless to say couldn't have been very impressed as he batted .252 with only 7 home runs and no steals in 357 at-bats.  He did play very good defense however but in fantasy baseball terms, Gregorious failed to move the meter much when it came to interest.  He got another shot last season but once again Gregorious was very disappointing as this time he batted an awful .226 with 6 home runs and 3 steals in 270 at-bats.  What was strange about Gregorious' first two seasons was that from an offensive standpoint, he was going against his minor league trends.  Coming up the minors, Gregorious showed the ability to collect steals with his speed and bat for a solid average but showed little to no pop.  He flipped the script at the major league level but overall he was not worth an add in anything but the deepest of leagues. 

Despite the ugly early results, Gregorious is a name to at least monitor early on due to his new environment as a regular hitter at Yankee Stadium.  Chase Field is a big home run park as well but at least you know Gregorious will be out there every day for the Yankees unlike his stint with the D-Backs.  The Yankees like to steal bases so Gregorious might be able to threaten double-digits and he could come close to reaching 10 home runs as well.  Based on his minor league trends, Gregorious is also capable of batting for a better average but that is no given by any means due to the sizable difference in pitching potency from the minors to the majors.  Helping the average a bit more but also hurting his counting stats, Cashman stated that Gregorious would platoon with Brendan Ryan at least at the start of the season.  Gregorious can't hit lefties well which means he will likely sit when a southpaw is pitching.  Overall, we wouldn't touch Gregorious as anything more than a bench bat with upside but his new uniform at least has him back into the consciousness of the fantasy baseball community this season.  The platoon though will severely hurt what little sleeper value he may have had. 

2015 PROJECTION:  .257 9 HR 45 RBI 67 R 9 SB

 

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