Results tagged ‘ Chase Headley ’
By Andrew Brown
Today Express Tracks highlights the San Diego Padres prospect Jedd Gyorko.
Gyorko has made himself into one of the top prospects in all of the minor leagues. Drafted in the second round by the Padres (60th overall) out of West Virginia, Gyorko was considered one of the best bats in the 2010 draft. Since then, Gyorko has busted through the ranks of a loaded San Diego farm system to emerge as the most MLB ready, and one of the best hitters in all of the minor leagues. In fact, according to Kevin Goldstein, Gyorko was recently ranked as the number two fantasy prospect (meaning most likely to have an impact this season) in all of the MLB.
Gyorko has a great plate approach, laying off bad pitches and forcing the pitchers to get him out on strikes. Gyorko has a very short, compact swing and lines the ball to all fields. He has put up big power numbers this season, hitting 17 homeruns in only 70 games with triple-A Tucson, however that is not likely to be what he is most well known for at the next level. Playing in the spacious confines of Petco Park, Gyorko will have a hard time hitting as many homeruns. He should, however, hit TONS of doubles to either gap.
Gyorko is not a great defender, and does not really have a true position. He has seen a lot of time at both second and third base this season. His natural position seems to be more of a third baseman but because he will be playing behind Chase Headley until at least 2013. Second base is a position that his size would suggest he is more appropriate for, especially since he does not have the strongest arm from the corner. However his range is a little bit limited, and covering the ground necessary to play a middle infield position may prove to be a challenge at the next level, where ground balls are hit just a little bit harder.
Nonetheless, Gyorko’s bat is one that San Diego simply has to have in their lineup. Once he has settled into a regular spot, Gyorko projects to be a two or three hole hitter for San Diego for years to come.
Strengths: Great plate approach, compact swing, line-drive approach will be perfect for Petco Park, high average hitter, versatile
Weaknesses: Size, only an average defender, no true position, power numbers are unlikely to translate to the next level
Player Comparison: Michael Young – Gyorko is similar to Young in a ton of ways. First of all, both are hitters with line-drive approaches at the plate, meaning they are looking to drive the ball to the gaps rather than swinging with loft to try to hit homeruns. This approach results in a high batting average, a lot of doubles, and plenty of offensive production even when their homerun totals are down. The two are very similar defensively too. While capable defensively, Young has never been known for his defense, and throughout the years he has moved around the infield. Gyorko has a similar reputation so far, as a capable defender who can play multiple positions. In fact, Gyorko has seen nearly equal time at second and third base.
Estimated MLB Arrival: Any one of these days now we should see Gyorko in a San Diego jersey. He would be up there right now had the Padres moved Chase Headley before the trade deadline, but he stayed put and so too did Gyorko. The Padres are in a position to experiment, considering that they are all but eliminated from the playoff hunt right now, so I would be shocked if Gyorko did not see a fair number of MLB at bats this season, with the idea that he will be ready to battle for an everyday position next spring training.
Postgame Evaluation: Gyorko did about what was expected of him. He hit a few hard line drives, waited for hittable pitches, and made the plays within his range on defense. He was not overly impressive, though he did not disappoint either.
- Final Line from August 4, 2012: 0 for 5 with a walk
Final Thoughts: I really like the Young comparison because I think that is exactly the kind of player that Gyorko will grow into. I do not know about the leadership and clubhouse presence that Young has demonstrated throughout his career, but Gyorko seems to be a high character guy, and players with that reputation tend to be looked up to by the end of their careers. Because he will be playing in San Diego though, I do not know if Gyorko will ever command star power. Despite that, I would be surprised if he did not compete for batting titles and find himself on several all-star teams by the end of his career. Gyorko will be a very good major league hitter, and a player that San Diego fans should be excited about having for years to come.
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