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MLB Barometer: Risers & Fallers

Derek VanRiper

Derek is the Director of Media for, where he's been a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Baseball Writer of the Year award, and winner of the Best Football Article on the Web (2009) and Best Baseball Article on the Web (2010) awards. Derek also co-hosts RotoWire's shows on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210).

In my lifetime, the shortstop for the Yankees has typically been a pricey fantasy commodity.

That hasnít been the case since 2015, when Didi Gregorius took over as the teamís starter at the position while quietly posting a 3.1-fWAR season as a 25-year-old. Despite playing in 155 games that season, he hit just nine homers, which only increased concerns that he might be a slick, glove-first shortstop with a bat that left plenty to be desired.

In 2016, Gregorius hit the ball in the air more frequently, and he more than doubled his home-run output to 20. Maybe it was just the byproduct of the short porch at Yankee Stadium? Probably not, as he hit 11 long balls at home compared to nine on the road that season, before following up his first 20-homer season with a 25-homer effort a year ago (12 home, 13 road).

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