Morgantown native and former WVU standout Jedd Gyorko has taken a very simple philosophy into the start of his professional baseball career.
"If you can hit, you can hit," Gyorko said on Wednesday’s edition of the MetroNews Statewide Sportsline as he talked to us about his transition to wood bats and the pro game.
"It really doesn’t matter what level you are at," Gyorko said. "If you put the work in and you go up there confident, you have a chance to have success."
Of course it isn’t that simple or we all would be doing it, but it was nice to hear Gyorko express that confidence. After being drafted in the second round by the Padres last summer, Gyorko has started his first full season of professional baseball. He is hitting .384 through 19 games with the Lake Elsinore Storm at Class A Advanced California League. Gyorko leads his team with nine doubles. He had a pair of home runs and 14 RBI. Gyorko has a remarkable on-base percentage of .459 and he is slugging .589.
"Phil Plantier is my hitting coach here," Gyorko said. "He played almost ten years in the big leagues so he is a great guy to get as much information from as possible."
Gyorko is also learning to play third base for the first time in his life. He played second base and shortstop in college.
"I just try to play the game as hard as I can and I’ll continue to work hard," Gyorko said. "I love this game. Its the purest game there is. I’m out for a reason and that is to play baseball. I’m focused on it and I’m putting the work in. Hopefully things will work out."
Gyorko is the highest drafted player from 2010 in the Padres organization. First round pick Karsten Whitson was a high school pitcher who went to the University of Florida insted of signing as a pro. Hopefully a premium will be placed on Gyorko’s development within the organization.
The next step would be to advance to the AA level at San Antonio. That is a place were Gyorko’s former WVU teammate Vince Belnome currently plays.
"The (Padres) organization keeps it pretty secret as to what their plan is," Gyorko said. "They don’t want you looking ahead to stuff like that.
"But hopefully if I can keep performing, I can get to Texas by the end of the year," Gyorko said.