The trade of Justin Upton was easily the most talked-about transaction the Arizona Diamondbacks made this offseason. Coming in at a close second was dealing star pitching prospect Trevor Bauer to the Cleveland Indians as part of a three team trade that netted the D’backs a young shortstop named Didi Gregorius from the Cincinnati Reds. We were told that he would be the shortstop of the future, a must considering how high of a ceiling Bauer is thought to have. After watching Gregorius play over the last month, we know one thing:
The future is now.
After missing a good portion of Spring Training with an elbow strain, the Netherlands native began the season with Triple A Reno. However, the injury to Aaron Hill coupled with Willie Bloomquist opening 2013 on the disabled list allowed the team to bring up Gregorius. He made an immediate impact in his first game on April 18th as he hit his first career home run and went 2 for 6 as the Snakes salvaged their series with the New York Yankees with a 6-2, 12 inning victory. His play in the field has been living up to its billing but it is the bat that is really turning some heads. Gregorius began the season with a 10 game hitting streak and has had at least one hit in all but three of his 17 games thus far. He currently is batting .354 in 72 total plate appearances with three home runs. His two-run single last night was all the scoring as Arizona defeated the Atlanta Braves 2-0. Even a stay on the 7 day DL for a concussion didn’t slow him down as in his first game back, he provided all the D’back offense going 2 for 3 with a home run during a 5-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on May 5th. When Hill and Bloomquist are ready to return, there is no way management can send down the youngster who at times is the team’s only offense after Paul Goldschmidt.
As the season wears on, I don’t expect Gregorius to keep up his current pace. However, I believe that with his better-than-expected production at the plate that he is now an important part of the D’back present. His bat has become too valuable. The only time I want to hear Didi Gregorius and Reno in the same sentence is if he has to go rehab an injury.
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