A Netherlands native, Didi Gregorius started training for the game of baseball by playing tee-ball before he was five years old in his home country. During his youth, he was also involved in other sports like soccer, and basketball before he settled for the game of baseball.
Gregorius’s path to Major League Baseball did not follow the traditional route of the annual Draft exercises. He joined the Cincinnati Reds from the Netherlands in 2007 as an amateur free agent, eventually making his MLB debut in 2012. In 2015, he joined the New York Yankees, where he plays as a shortstop.
Didi Gregorius’s Bio, Career
Gregorius was born Mariekson Julius Gregorius on February 18, 1990, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. After playing tee-ball, soccer and basketball growing up, he joined the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, after he was spotted playing an amateur baseball competition in the Netherlands by a Reds scout.
He spent the next few years developing his play and confidence as the Reds optioned him to different teams starting with the Gulf Coast Reds and ending with the triple-A-rated Louisville Bats of the International League. In total he played for more than seven teams from 2007 to 2012, improving his stats in all relevant categories. He even won the Golden Glove Award for the 2010-2011 Australian Baseball League season. He finally made his debut for the Cincinnati Reds on September 5, 2012, and played eight games for the season.
However, at the end of the season, fellow shortstop Zack Cozart’s performance saw Cincinnati trade him to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Didi Gregorius made his debut for the Diamondbacks on April 18, 2013, hitting a home run on the first pitch of his first at-bat for the first time in his career. For the 2014 season, Didi was sent to the Reno Aces where he achieved three home runs in the team’s 10-7 victory over the Las Vegas 51s. He returned to the Diamondbacks in June after an injury to Cliff Pennington who played as a backup infielder.
On December 5, 2014, Gregorius was involved in the second three-team trade of his career as Arizona moved him on to the New York Yankees. In his debut season for the Yankees, Didi was named in the opening day lineup, replacing the retired Yankees shortstop, Derek Jeter. After a difficult first two months, he finally began to gel into the team improving his own averages: hits, runs, RBIs etc. On August 28, he recorded a career-high 6 RBIs also recording a home run. He was named as one of the finalists for the AL’s Rawlings Gold Glove Award at shortstop. In total, he appeared in 155 games in the year. with a batting average of .265, 56 RBIs and a career-high 9 home runs.
In 2016, Didi Gregorius improved his record against left-handed pitchers as he participated in 153 games, batting .276 average, 20 home runs, and 70 RBIs. The shortstop’s 2017 started with a shoulder injury he had sustained at the Baseball World Cup. As a result of the injury, he missed a few games, returning to make his season debut against the Baltimore Orioles on April 28, 2017, hitting his first at-bat and collecting an RBI single as the Yankees won 14-11.
In this campaign, Didi recorded his 500th major league hit and his 50th home run. He also hit home runs in 3 consecutive games on his way to becoming the highest-ranked Yankee shortstop with the greatest number of home runs in a single campaign. For the 2017 All-Star MLB Game, the shortstop was considered as a Final Vote candidate.
2017 saw him post career highs in home runs, RBIs, and batting average. He also continued his impressive home run record past the regular season into the 2017 American League Wild Card Game where he hit three-run home runs, and in the 2017 American League Division Series, where he became only the second Yankee player in a winner-take-all game to achieve two home runs.
By May 1st, 2018, Didi Gregorius had already racked up ten home runs, making it the first time since 1908 that any shortstop had hit that many home runs that early in the campaign.
The star shortstop has also represented the Dutch national baseball team in the title-winning 2011 Baseball World Cup tournament, and briefly in the 2017 Baseball World Cup due to injury.
Didi Gregorius’s Family – Parents, Siblings, Married, Wife
The Yankees player’s family tree is filled with athletes. His father, Johannes Gregorius Sr., and older brother, Johannes Jr. (who also played in the Italian baseball league), played as pitchers for the Amsterdam Pirates while his father doubled as a carpenter. Weirdly, his father, brother, and himself all go by the nickname Didi, mostly because people find their names difficult to pronounce.
His mother, Sheritsa Stroop turned out for the national softball team of the Netherlands. His paternal grandfather, Antonio, was a very famous pitcher in the Island of Curaçao in the mid-20th century.
Didi is currently dating a woman referred to simply as Judy. It is not clear how long the couple has been dating. However, according to her social media, Judy is an aspiring model and a student. Her twitter and Instagram accounts are filled with everything Didi-related.
Gregorius’s Body Stats
The shortstop stands at a height of 1.9 m which translates to 6 feet 3 inches and maintains an athletic weight of 84 kg (185 lbs). There is no other reliable information about his body statistics.