Current Pirates' shortstop Jordy Mercer and Gregorius are somewhat comparable options, and both played in a total of 103 games in 2013 oddly enough. Gregorius hit seven home runs, drove in 28, maintained a .252 batting average and .704 OPS over 404 plate appearances. Mercer's power numbers were eerily similar, as he hit eight home runs and drove in 27, but he had much better slash line, hitting .285 with a .772 OPS over . Mercer will be 27 this season while Gregorius is a few years younger at 24.
Gregorius was good for about a 1.4 WAR last season, but Mercer was worth almost a full win more at 2.3. Gregorius certainly has upside, maybe more than Mercer, but Mercer is the better fit for the club at the moment as he has the better bat. The Pirates don't have a good enough offense to willingly downgrade a position on the field, and potentially have to give up a prospect such as Nick Kingham to do so.
The Pirates should instead be looking to upgrade first base, as Jon Heyman of CBS Sports recently tweeted the team is seriously considering starting the season with Travis Ishikawa at first base.Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Baseball, Didi Gregorius, Jordy Mercer, MLB, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Pirates
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