New York Yankees’ Didi Gregorius Starts Off Spring with a Bang

After a breakout offensive performance in 2016, Didi Gregorius opened his spring training with a big home run for the New York Yankees.

The New York Yankees acquired Didi Gregorius in a December 2014 three-team trade that also involved the Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers.

It was the second time in his career that Gregorius had been a key piece in a three-team deal, something quite rare among players for sure. In December of 2012, he was part of another three-team transaction that involved the Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians and his original team, the Cincinnati Reds.

Gregorius was given the unenviable task of replacing a Yankee legend. He was the opening day shortstop in the first game after Yankees legend Derek Jeter retired after the 2014 season.

Known for his excellent defensive skills, Gregorius had an up-and-down season at the plate in 2015, hitting .265/.318/.370 with nine home runs and five stolen bases.

Then came 2016, when Gregorius brought a much bigger bat to the plate, as he hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs, 32 doubles and seven stolen bases.

While defensive metrics did not like his performance at shortstop in 2016, and the Yankees did acquire highly-regarded shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres in a deal with the Chicago Cubs, Gregorius made sure on Friday that everyone knew that the shortstop position is still his for the near future.

Gregorius took his first at-bat of the spring against Philadelphia Phillies righty Alec Asher. On the third pitch of the at-bat, he hit an 89-MPH fastball over the right-center wall with a big cut.

His home run had a pretty impressive sound off the bat, turning the attention of everyone in my household for sure (including my poodle!).

Here’s the home run, complete with the home call:

Gregorius will be heading to the World Baseball Classic in a matter of days, so this was an impressive way of putting a mark on spring training camp before he heads away!

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