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Jason Hunt takes a look at a second base prospect who could arrive in the Majors as soon as next season, the Padres' Jedd Gyorko.
As part of our comprehensive look at the second base position heading into the 2013 fantasy season, Craig Goldstein and I are taking a closer look at two second base prospects and how to value them in fantasy. This is to give you a better idea of two of the players listed on our 2013 Fantasy Second Base Prospects Rankings. Today's subject is a converted third baseman who could very well end up back there should a trade clear a path for him at the position, that being Padres' prospect Jedd Gyorko.
Weight: 195 lb.
On 40-man roster: No
Age as of 4/1/13: 24
Gyorko was drafted by the Padres in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft out of West Virginia University. He signed quickly for a bonus of over $600,000, and was able to get into 68 games between the Padres' Northwest League and Midwest League affiliates. Gyorko moved to the Cal League to start the 2011 season, and after hitting 18 home runs and posting a .365/.429/.638 slash line in 81 games, was promoted to AA San Antonio. He hit well there also, with 7 home runs and a .288/.358/.428 slash line in just 59 games.
The Padres sent Gyorko back to AA to start the 2012 season, but also added 2B as a part of his defensive rotation. After hitting .262 with 6 home runs in just 34 games, the Padres promoted him to the launching pad of a PCL affiliate in Tucson, where his numbers really took off. In 92 games in AAA, Gyorko hit 24 home runs, drove in 83, and hit .328/.380/.588 while splitting time between 2B and 3B.
What's Stopping Him From Contributing Now?
As of right now, Gyorko is not on the 40-man roster, and was not added after the 2012 season because they did not need to do so yet. With Chase Headley on the roster and locked in at 3B, Gyorko will likely need to win the starting 2B job to make the team out of Spring Training.
The concerns with Gyorko center on his defense, as he does not really hit for enough power to fit a 3B profile, and may not necessarily be good defensively at 2B in the long term. That said, his bat is good enough to definitely play in the Majors, and soon. He has shown the ability to draw a walk (never below 9% walk rate in any season), and his strikeout totals have always been solid for a power hitter.
It's a bit hard to judge his numbers at AAA on their own merit, if only because Tucson has become known as such a hitters' paradise in the PCL. Regardless, Gyorko has hit at nearly every stop in the minors, and seems very likely to be doing the same in the Majors very soon.
What Could He Do For Fantasy Owners Once He Gets There?
With Gyorko, you are looking at a bat which could provide 15-20 home runs with a solid to above-average batting average almost regardless of the fact that he will play half of his games at Petco Park. He isn't likely to provide a ton of speed, but should be at least average in both runs and RBI as well. His value probably goes up slightly if he remains at 2B as opposed to 3B, as his power potential would be above-average at 2B.
When Could He Arrive?
If the Padres were to trade Chase Headley this offseason, I would have to believe that Gyorko would be given the first shot to win the starting 3B job. With Headley still on the roster, I can see them giving him a shot to win the starting 2B job in Spring Training, and with just Logan Forsythe in the way, he could potentially do that also. Either way I think we see Gyorko by midseason 2013 with the Padres.
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