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3 Numbers to Remember: Didi Gregorius is a major upgrade


Didi Gregorius has spent the past five seasons with the Yankees. (Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)

Since Jimmy Rollins’ decline, the Philadelphia Phillies have had some of the worst shortstop production in all of baseball. This offseason, they set out to change that, signing shortstop Didi Gregorius to a one-year, $14 million contract in December.

Gregorius missed a lot of time in 2019 when recovering from Tommy John surgery to the elbow on his throwing arm, and struggled after returning in June. However, Gregorius was a top shortstop in the years prior. Here are three numbers that look at how he fits into this team and represents an upgrade at the shortstop position.

88 – Home runs since 2016

When the Yankees acquired Gregorius in 2015, he was not known for his power stroke. Heading into 2016, he only had 22 home runs in 346 career games. Over the next four years, Gregorius hit 20, 25, 27 and 16 home runs, respectively. His total during this period is fifth-best among all major league shortstops.

Gregorius’ power represents an upgrade at the shortstop position for the Phillies. Jean Segura only hit 12 home runs in 2019, and the .384 slugging percentage from Phillies shortstops since 2016 ranks 22nd among all MLB teams.

Didi Gregorius and Zack Wheeler have been the Phillies two major offseason additions. (Tim Kelly/Phillies Nation)

8.8 – Combined fWAR in 2017 and 2018

There is some risk in adding a player like Gregorius that is coming off an injury and a down season. However, heading into 2019, some saw Gregorius as a top-five shortstop in all of baseball. His power and defense helped him to become incredibly valuable to a Yankees team that made the playoffs in each year.

During these two seasons in particular, Gregorius ranked third among all MLB shortstops and 24th among all position players in fWAR. He may have struggled in 2019, but he is not far removed from being one of the better players in all of baseball. The Phillies know this, which is why they bet on him this offseason.

Two – Career seasons with over 140 games played

Gregorius has clearly been a very good player over the last few seasons, but his durability has come into question. He has made five trips to the injured list during his career and missed chunks of time in each of the last three seasons.

The good news for the Phillies is that, other than his recovery time from Tommy John surgery last season, none of his injuries have sidelined him for an extensive amount of time. The Phillies don’t have outstanding infield depth, but Scott Kingery and Jean Segura can both fill in at shortstop in the case of an injury to Gregorius.

Signing Gregorius comes with some risk, but he represents an upgrade at shortstop for the Phillies. If he can match his production from his time as a Yankee, he will be well worth the contract.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Terry Meehan

    January 13, 2020 at 10:18 am

    So they added a shortstop and one SP. The BP hasn’t been addressed. Third base a major question mark. Question. How improved is this team with basically the same players coming back? Adding a middle infielder and a pitcher to a team that struggles to get to .500. Counting on Eflin, Pivetta, and VV again after they have proved for three years to be AAA pitchers.
    It’s not my team but if were Middleton I’d fire Klentak immediately and bring a civil suit against McPhail for fraud.

  2. Craig Glessner

    January 13, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    You’re forgetting one other huge addition to the team. GIRARDI, he will make a big difference. Some of these fans are funny they have that sky is falling mentality and want to spend all this money on other players whose teams were not in the playoffs either so if the logic is that the Phillies players are not good enough why would adding a player like that help. Baseball is a hard game and you have to go year by year remember there are 29 other teams trying to win also. I believe Girardi will get this team to the playoffs GO PHILLIES

    • Terry Meehan

      January 13, 2020 at 1:55 pm

      Can he pitch? Hit to all fields? Steal bases? Actually hit above .300 for the season? Pitch a complete game? Stop a losing streak?
      No he can’t. You can’t make chicken salad without the chicken my friend.

      • Craig Glessner

        January 13, 2020 at 5:51 pm

        Yep the damn sky is falling and now I’m hungry for chicken salad

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