Jedd Gyorko burst onto the 2013 season for the Padres in a big way, producing a slash line of 0.249/0.301/0.444, along with 23 HRs, 63 RBIs, 62 Runs, and 121 hits. Those would have been great stats for a seasoned veteran at Petco, much less an MLB Rookie with absolutely zero big league experience. Jedd had yet to even seen the inside of an MLB Park as a September call-up prior – he belongs to that elite class of prospect whose big league time is carefully watched and metered for arbitration eligibility. As a pure Rookie, Jedd Gyorko lead all MLB Rookies in HRs, as well as being amongst the leaders in RBIs(2nd), Runs(3rd), Hits(4th), 2Bs(3rd), and BBs(4th). Gyorko numbers would have likely been even more impressive if not for the midseason groin strain he suffered in Mid-June. Prior to his injury, Jedd was on a hot streak and was producing a slash line of .325/.349/.575 for the month of June. Jedd was then sidelined from June 10 until returning on July 12. As a rookie, it took him a bit longer to catch his rhythm again and he struggled to a tune of 0.100/.118/.100 and was virtually an automatic out for a while coming back. Of course Jedd got back on track and rebounded but it makes one wonder what could have been. Padres were still in contention around June before dropping of play, all coinciding with the injuries to Jedd Gyorko and Everth Caberra.
Jedd also played stellar defense at his position, notching several highlight reel plays and becoming a fan favorite. One can see why a player of Gyorko’s caliber and potential made him such a viable option to replace Chase Headley in past years. In fact, with other viable options at 2B in the pipeline, including former #1 pick Corey Spangenberg at 2B, one wonders if the long term viability of the Padres is best achieved by moving Chase Headley, and letting Jedd Gyorko man the hot corner. I’d like to see the Padres try at least half a season longer with Chase as a lineup – starting with a healthy Cabrera, Venable, Gyorko, Headley, & Quentin looks and feels intimidating.
So here’s to Jedd Gyorko, and for a year very well done. Has to be in the conversation for MLB Rookie of the Year. Let’s hope he gives the Padres many more years of great play and continues to improve on his first one. Fans, grab his jersey while you can.