The Dutch-born shortstop started his career in 2012 and he has a significant role to play if the Phillies want to make the postseason for the first time in a decade. Gregorius is nicknamed “Sir Didi” because he is a 5th class knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau which was granted to him by the Netherlands for his performance in the 2011 World Baseball Classic. Phillies Phans have watched Didi Gregorius playing brilliantly in 2020 and in 2021 for the Phillies and luckily for their offense, he will be here for the next two years.
Didi Gregorius signed a two-year deal with the Phillies this January and is set to help them reach the postseason for the first time in a decade. Previously, Gregorius played for the Reds, D-Backs, and Yankees before signing with the men in Red Pinstripes. He made it to the postseason four times with the Yankees so he comes from experience. Gregorius battled his last two seasons in the Bronx with a shoulder injury which led to decreased playing time and a dip in his batting average. However, he fought back and signed with the Phillies and reunited with his old manager and current Phillies skipper Joe Girardi.
The Dutch native hit for a .284 AVG, .827 OPS, 10 HR, 3 SB, and 40 RBIs. This is a great line coming back from an injury during the shortened season. Gregorius has been consistently killing it in 2021 as well. So far his batting line is two home runs, 10 RBIs, .320 AVG, with a .345 OBP. Without a question, Didi Gregorius has become one of the Phillies’ best hitters over the past two seasons and seems to only be getting better.
Hopefully, his defense is going to get better at shortstop while playing consistently at shortstop. Currently, he has three errors during this season, and preferably he can keep the errors to a minimum. In 2020, he sported a .968 fielding percentage which is not great but it is not too poor of a performance given he played multiple positions. Giving him consistent playing time in the same position is going to let Didi flourish.
This year, Gregorius is making great catches in the field where he is looking up and twisting around to make a sliding basket catch. Seeing Sir Didi slide and dive for drives, pop-ups, and grounders is exciting to see. The dynamic plays could grant him the new moniker of “The Flying Dutchman”. Though it might be a bit of a stretch because that name was given to the famous Pittsburgh Pirate Hall of Famer, Honus Wagner. This is due to his speed and skill on the diamond with a career that produced 722 stolen bases which makes sense. The “Flying” nickname is similar to the renowned former Phillie Shane Victorino, dubbed “The Flying Hawaiian”.
Besides his great plays, the best part of Didi is the culture and attitude he brings to the Phillies. Sir Didi’s knightly honor is projected through his positive support on his Twitter feed, which is posted daily through his account @DidiG18. His animated renditions of his teammates are widely known on social media and constantly cheer and praise them through the good and bad are admirable. The Phillies as an organization and team need this positivity, especially when facing tough stretches of losses. It is going to be imperative for him to spark the offense when guys are not hitting and he has always come up clutch with home run or RBI hit here and there.
The Phillies are 7-7 and currently in third place in the NL East. Gregorius and the rest of the Phillies are going to need to step it up on all fronts to retake the top of the division. Before the season started people everywhere knew this division was going to be the most difficult to win. The Phillies and the Phans are due for some playoff success and Didi is part of the core that can achieve a place in the playoffs with their proverbial crusade through 162 games. It is going to be a battle but one worth the price of admission and it is early so do not count Didi or the Fightin’s out quite yet.
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