Former West Virginia standout Jedd Gyorko enters spring training as the highest-rated second baseman on MLB.com’s list of Top 100 prospects for 2013. The 24-year-old Padres farmhand, a second-round draft pick in 2010, is the 50th-rated prospect overall.
Gyorko, coming off a season in which he produced 30 homers and 100 RBIs while splitting 126 games between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson, will be among 21 non-roster invitees when the Padres open spring training in Peoria, Ariz.
With his path to the majors as a third baseman blocked by Chase Headley, Gyorko converted to second base where he’ll battle Logan Forsythe and Alexi Amarista for the starting job. Gyorko’s power is attractive to a lineup that ranked 28th out of 30 big-league teams in homers last season with 121 and 26th in slugging percentage (.380).
The MLB.com analysis:
“Gyorko was drafted as an advanced bat, albeit it one without a clear defensive home. He’s been as good as advertised – if not better – with the bat, carrying a .319/.385/.529 line into the 2013 season. His quick and compact swing is built for average and power, showing an outstanding ability to drive the ball to all fields. In his brief professional career, the West Virginia product has played more third base than second, but the Padres feel confident enough in his abilities on the right side of the infield to give him a chance to win the second base job in Spring Training. He may never wow anyone with his range, but his hands work fine, as does his arm, giving him the chance to be a very good offensive-minded second baseman in the big leagues.”
Gyorko was one of only two second baseman to make the top-100 list.
Read more about the Padres’ dilemma in finding a roster spot for Gyorko in this profile from PadresProspects.com last August.