Didi Gregorius: the bees knees? (USAT)
I suppose I can understand the buzz generated by Arizona's new middle infielder, Didi Gregorius. He's got a nifty glove, a terrific name (Mariekson Julius Gregorius if we're being technical) and a couple of homers since recalled to the majors. He was off to a snappy start in Triple-A (12-for-31, two homers), and he's a familiar name from several prospect lists. Almost 6,000 Yahoo! fantasy players have taken the plunge on Gregorius in the last 14 hours, and I see the root of that.
Alas, I also see Gregorius sitting idly on the Friends & Family League waiver wire, and I have to take that side. This is one you're better off sitting out.
The crux of the prospect buzz is simple: Gregorius is a wizard in the field. Alas, he hasn't shown much offensive ability since turning pro. His career in the minors (486 games) produced a pedestrian .267/.319/.375 line, with 23 homers. He's been an adventure on the bases, stealing 45 and being caught 30 times. Maybe we should be understanding about how he struggled in rookie ball as an 18-year-old, but Gregorius was 22 in the minors last year and posted a mediocre .265/.324/.393 line between Double-A and Triple-A (seven homers, 3-for-9 on the bases). This isn't Tulowitzki 2.0.
Major league pitchers have served some room-service fastballs to Gregorius thus far, and he's run into a couple of them. Bully for the kid. I can understand why owners in very deep mixed leagues (or NL-only formats) are chasing Gregorius aggressively; in those groups, playing time is the thing. You're chasing at-bats. But in a standard mixed league in the 8-12 team range (or even up to 14 teams), you need to shoot higher. I'm not pointing, I'm not clicking, I'm not interested.
If you're a Gregorius apologist, have your say in the comments. Ten percent of Yahoo! Nation owns the guy (into Monday) and that number keeps rising. If I need to take a middle-infield plunge in that ownership range, I'll take my chances with Chris Getz (eight percent), Kelly Johnson (eight percent) or Mark Ellis (seven percent) instead.
- Sports & Recreation
- Didi Gregorius