Monday, February 10, 2014
Coal Burning Stove: Gyorko poised to lead Padres
Last season Jedd Gyorko was merely a rookie.
I say merely, yet he managed to set Padres records despite spending a hefty chunk on the disabled list.
Gyorko quickly established himself within the San Diego Padres farm system and worked his way through, developing power along the way. From the very beginning of his Padres' career, Gyorko was counted on to, and expected to, produce for the Friars.
And that's what he did, hitting 23 home runs and driving in 63 runs while hitting with a .249 average. Not bad for taking his first swing at the majors.
Now, though, the stakes are raised for the young Morgantown native.
Gyorko has proven that he can play multiple positions on the diamond and can hit from just about any spot in the lineup.
With rumors that the Padres could trade third baseman Chase Headly at any point (though those rumors have been circulating for a year now and no real move has been shown) the Padres could be looking for their next star to build around.
All indications point directly to the second-year slugger.
When the U-T San Diego was doing their season preview by position earlier in January, they graded Gyorko's 2013 season a B+ even with a low batting average and injury.
U-T San Diego writer Bill Center went on to say that Gyorko's defense "was outstanding at times."
In terms of the 2014 season, Center said that Gyorko needs to improve his hitting with runners in scoring position and on-base percentage to really take off for the Padres.
As for his positives, Center said Gyorko was a very aggressive hitter and could develop into a middle-of-the-order power hitter if he works on the aforementioned things.
With an interview with hometown radio station, WV MetroNews, Gyorko said that he feels better coming into his sophomore season, saying, "I'm not going to have to go out there and worry about impressing the coaches every single day."
Later in the article, Gyorko said that he was to "just relax and have fun."
When that added pressure is off of him, there's no telling what kind of numbers Gyorko will put up.