After several successful seasons in New York with the Bronx Bombers, Didi Gregorius reunited with his manager Joe Girardi — as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies on a one-year deal — to take over at shortstop for the 2020 season. For the most part, Gregorius didn’t disappoint. In fact, he posted the second-highest Stitched Philadelphia Phillies Jerseys batting average, second-highest slugging percentage, and best on-base percentage of his nine-year career.
Becoming a free agent entering this offseason, there were serious questions as to whether Gregorius would be back in red pinstripes. After a long process, however, the Phillies inked him to a two-year deal worth $28 million. Gregorius adds stability at the plate and solid play in the field. What can we expect from him in terms of raw numbers for the 2021 season?
Predicting how Didi Gregorius will fare in his second season with the Phillies
Taking a look back, Gregorius became a starter in 2015 with the New York Yankees and hit .265 with nine home runs and 56 RBI. He came into his own the following season, adding power to his game. In fact, Gregorius increased his home run total to 20, beginning a three-year stretch with at least 20 homers in a season.
Gregorius missed much of 2019 after recovering from Tommy John surgery, but launched 16 home runs in 82 games — despite a relatively poor .238 batting average. Last season with the Phillies, Gregorius hit .284 with 10 home runs and 40 RBI with an offensive WAR of 1.2. Defensively, he was average, committing seven errors for a fielding percentage of .968 and defensive WAR of 0.1
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Entering 2021, Gregorius is likely to bat sixth behind Alec Bohm and in front of Jean Segura. He should have plenty of RBI opportunities in a lineup that should be among the most productive in the National League.
Another 20-25 home run season for Gregorius is certainly a reasonable expectation. Add in 85 RBI, 80 runs scored and a .260 average to a lineup that could easily have five or six players reach 20-plus home runs. Gregorius won’t be great in the field, but should be competent and his offensive will make up for any defensive liabilities.