When the Padres released Orlando Hudson, they showed that they were ready to move to the next step. They proved that they were willing to give their young players an opportunity in order to see what they could produce (which they also did today when they recalled Yasmani Grandal). While he wasn’t initially recalled to fill the hole at second base, you would think it’s just a matter of time before Jedd Gyorko gets his opportunity. Let’s take a look at everything we need to know about him:
- 23-years old
- Right-handed hitter
- Listed at 5’10”, 195 lbs.
- Drafted in the second round (59th overall) in2010
- According to mlb.com, “Gyorko’s bat has always been held in high regard, but his size, body type and lack of a natural position led him to be undervalued in the 2010 Draft.”
- Originally a 3B, shifted to 2B this season
- Baseball America ranked as the #98 prospect prior to the season; mlb.com ranked at #66
- Hit 25 HR with 114 RBI between Single & Double-A in ‘11
- Recently promoted to Triple-A (Pacific Coast League), where he has hit .318 with 5 HR, 12 RBI and 13 R in 66 AB
- The power is likely not what it appears, however. According to mlb.com, “Gyorko is a tremendous hitter who has a quick, short swing that allows him to punish the ball to all fields. He has very good strike-zone recognition and good pop, though he’s more of an all-around hitter than a power guy.” Baseball America echoed that sentiment saying, “Though he hits the ball with authority to the opposite field, his overall power potential is just average.”
- Makes good contact (was at 18.1% at Double-A prior to his promotion), but has been unbelievable at Triple-A with just 6 K, though he could do a better job of drawing a walk (2 BB, though he had consistently showed a 10% walk rate at the lower levels)
- While he stole 11 bases at Single-A in 340 AB, he offers little SB potential long-term
- Prior to 2012 Baseball America dubbed him the “Best Hitter For Average” in the Padres system
While there appears to be power in his bat from looking at the numbers, the scouts appear unanimous that it’s not going to translate to the Major Leagues. When you throw in the fact that he’s going to be calling Petco Park home it seems like a safe bet. Figure him for a 12-15 HR middle infielder, which definitely isn’t a bad thing.
Of course, you would like to see some speed but if he can develop into a doubles machine and hit around .300, there is going to be plenty of value. He would appear to have the makings of a #2 hitter for the team, which will also provide him opportunity to score some runs.
Do I see him as a Top 10 option at second base? Probably not, but he could be a similar player to Yunel Escobar (.290, 11 HR, 3 SB in ’11), with potentially a little more power/average. That definitely holds value as a middle infielder in all formats.