When Didi Gregorius was brought in to take over for Derek Jeter at shortstop, a lot of Yankee fans were excited by the prospect of seeing some above-average defense up the middle. After all, even the biggest Jeter fans know that he was subpar with the glove. His range left a lot to be desired, and his throwing arm lost a bit of its pop as he got closer and closer to 40. Gregorius has long been hailed as a stalwart with the glove - while he's probably not going to turn into Andrelton Simmons, most scouts agree that he has the potential to be one of the best defensive shortstops in the league.
However, scouts also agreed that as polished as he was with the glove, he had a lot of work to do with the bat. Gregorius hit just .252/.332/.373 for a 92 wRC+ in 103 games with Arizona in 2013, and he was even worse offensively last year, managing an anemic triple slash of .226/.290/.363 for a 76 wRC+. While Gregorius has displayed some mild skill with the bat in the minors (he did hit .310/.389/.447 in 260 at bats in Triple-A last season), he's never been able to translate that into much major league success.
Well, so far this spring, Gregorius has shown some promise at the plate, getting off to a great start in pinstripes. In 16 games with 39 at bats, Gregorius has hit .308/.349/.513, clubbing four doubles and showing some incredible speed on his way to two triples. It's been a very promising spring so far for Gregorius, who's also displayed some of the glove wizardry that no doubt made him so appealing to the newly defensively-conscious Yankees. If he can provide something around league average offense plus a vastly superior glove to the now-retired Jeter, Gregorius will make the Yankees a lot more dangerous, both in the field and at the plate.
While spring training success doesn't necessarily translate into hits against major league pitching, Gregorius' performance this spring has to get a lot of Yankee fans excited. He's shown some of the great glove work we all expected, but he's also flashed a pretty solid bat. While he's almost certain to be better than 2014 Jeter in almost every way, if he can hit in the majors close to as well as he's hit this spring, he very well could turn into one of the better shortstops (and values) in the league.