The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired shortstop Didi Gregorious, first baseman Lars Anderson and veteran left-handed reliever Tony Sipp from the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds on Dec. 11, according to a team press release.
Cleveland received right-handed pitchers Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw in the deal and sent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and other players to the Cincinnati Reds.
But who is Gregorious and why should Diamondbacks fans begin to get excited?
Ken Griffey Sr., his manager in 2010, projected Didi’s outlook as a hitter at the next level (via Dayton Daily News):
"Didi’s a very aggressive hitter," Griffey said. "He makes contact and understands how to use the barrel of the bat. He’s going to have the pop to hit 10-15 home runs."
Gregorious, 22, is a 6'1", 185-pound left-handed hitter who excelled down in the minor leagues. He was named to the Arizona Fall League’s Top Prospect Team in November after compiling a .284 average with one home run, three doubles and eight RBI.
He also saw some MLB action with the Cincinnati Reds in 2012. During his limited time in the bigs (eight games in September), Gregorious accumulated a .300 batting average and two RBI.
According to the release, "[Gregorious] entered 2012 rated by Baseball America as Cincinnati’s sixth-best prospect and named the organization’s Best Defensive Infielder and possessing the Best Throwing Arm."
He is built as a defense-first shortstop but is handy with the bat at times as well. Gregorious hit .265/.324/.393 while moving between Double and Triple-A in the Reds’ farm system in 2012.
Overall, the Diamondbacks should be excited about the youngster’s potential. His solid Triple A performance in 2012 is encouraging and he may be ready for a jump to the majors on a more permanent basis in 2013.