Babyfaced Shortstop pf the Future: Didi Gregorius
There is a bit of pressure on Didi Gregorius. Not so much due to the Diamondbacks’ need for him to be a superstar – Gregorius is NOT that – but due to the fact that he is stellar in an otherwise unspectacular position (side note: remember the late 90’s when there was that crazy boom of SS who were just all out nasty? How much of that was steroid related, huh? Sorry for any childhoods ruined. Damn you, Nomar). Bauer might be good, for sure, but Gregorius plays a position where few organizations have any sort of competent depth. As other-worldly prospect hunter Mike Newman put it over at Fangraphs, “In Gregorius, the Diamondbacks found a cost controlled shortstop of the future when their best internal option was suspect prospect Chris Owings.” And no, Chris Owings is not Micah Owings batswinging alter-ego. I don’t know who Chris Owings is either.
Gregorius may very well spend much of 2013 in the minors. A recent elbow injury assures he will be slow out of the gate. Hence, the Fangraphs Steamer projections:
13 2B / 5 3B / 4 HR / 30 R /32 RBI / 4 SB / .234 AVG / .277 OBP (in 346 PA)
Womp womp. That’s lame. That is not gonna cut it. Those aren’t franchise stalwart numbers – I don’t care if you’re 23. I love Willie Bloomquist and all, really I do, but the D-backs need Gregorius to be an MLB shortstop sooner rather than later. You know what the glue of franchises has resting oh-so-manly on their upper lips? What his (former franchise glue) manager Kirk Gibson once ROCKED? What his hitting coach (and former franchise glue) STILL ROCKS?
Have you guessed?
Yup. A kick. Ass. Mustache.
Sure, Didi (is he in the running for silliest first name for a professional athlete?) will start the season slow with a bum elbow but while rehabbing that, let us assume he also rehabs his naked lip. Then take a look at the numbers he puts up. Fire up the Mustache Predictorator 4000!
20 2B / 9 3B / 6 HR / 55 R /40 RBI /15 SB / .279 AVG / .312 OBP (now with 460 PA)
That’s how you start a very solid, shortstop-of-the-future career. These numbers are not so far off from Elvis Andrus’ and he ain’t half bad. With excellent defense and these mustache-enhanced numbers, Gregorius is ready to roll. Those numbers could shoot up with better health and some confidence from his manager (leading to more AB). And hey, Kirk Gibson knows the power of the ‘stache: