GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Despite it being one set of drills in the early days of Spring Training, some people can still stand out from time to time. On Sunday, during ground-ball and double-play drills, it was shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius.
Gregorius, 22, went to his right and deep into the hole on one play to stop a grounder and made a great throw across his body to first base. On a couple of other chances, he adjusted to bad hops and slickly picked the ball.
"I'm trying to work on defense a lot because I'm trying to get better and better and make progress," Gregorius said. "As I've gotten older, I've learned to slow the game down instead of rushing myself."
Gregorius committed 32 errors at Class A ball in 2010 and improved to 21 errors while splitting last season between high Class A and Double-A. According to MLB.com, he is the organization's No. 7 ranked
prospect. Baseball America rated him as the organization's best defensive infielder and best infield throwing arm.
Born in the Netherlands and raised in Curacao, Gregorius speaks fluently in English, Dutch and Spanish. He was added to the 40-man roster after last season and is enjoying his first big league camp.
"I was really excited," he said. "I finally got a chance to see guys in the big leagues and play with them. It is fun."
In 84 games at Class A Bakersfield and Double-A Carolina in 2011, Gregorious batted .289 with seven home runs, 44 RBIs and 11 steals.