Robinson Cano is a popular player. Teenagers love him! Teens also love junk food, bad music, and slamming their door as they loudly proclaim that no one understands them. So…there’s that.
I would like to submit two reasons why Jedd Gyorko should be the new favorite second baseman of teenagers (and mature, sophisticated fantasy owners) everywhere.
First, his name is pronounced JERK-O. Not Gee-york-oh, or Guh-yerk-o, Guy-air-ko, or Jork-oh. It’s pronounced JERK-O. His parents named him Jedd Gyorko, which is all kinds of comical, and it inevitable led to his nickname becoming “Jerk.”
Yup. That’s his nickname. Jerk. Teenagers will love that!
Second, Gyorko had a solid rookie season, banging 23 home runs in just 125 games. Only Robinson Cano had more at second base, but he did so in 35 more contests.
Since the San Diego Padres home field is tough on homers, you might guess that most of Jerk’s homers came on the road. Actually, 13 of those homers came at Petco Park, so there’s no debating Gyorko’s legitimacy at a power-thin position. In fact, he’s high on the list to lead all second basemen in long balls in 2014.
Jerk doesn’t have size on his side (5’10”, 210 pounds), but he’s shaped like a fire hydrant and has amazing bat speed to the tune of a 73.8% contact percentage, among the best in the league.
Now the Bad
It was a bit of a mixed debut for Jedd Gyorko. The 23 home runs were nice, but his strikeouts (a staggering 123 times) dragged down his overall line. Gyorko’s .249 AVG sucked the life out of his overall fantasy value. If that’s the batting average we can expect in the future, it would make the 25-year-old Gyorko a slightly improved and younger version of Dan Uggla.
The spreadsheet spit out a .256 projection for him, but there is upside for his batting average to climb into .265 territory. On the farm he showed far more discipline with a career strikeout rate around 17%, much improved over the 23.4% last season. Gyorko also has a 22.5 % line-drive rate that is encouraging for future AVG and even a slight bump to his .287 BABIP could pay dividends.
In other words, there is optimism that the below projections could be conservative.
Jedd Gyorko 2014 Projections
Jedd Gyorko 550 71 24 71 4 42 126 .256
We’re back to All Good
The former West Virginia Mountaineer showed he has the skill to compete in the big leagues. Gyorko really started to put it all together towards the end of the season. He crushed 8 home runs in the month of August, then hit another 7 in September. Over that time, he has also added an impressive 37 RBIs.
Twenty more games should put Jerk on the north side of 70 Runs/RBI. With 20+ home runs, only one second baseman reached those marks in 2013 is – you guessed it – the teen favorite Cano.
The top second baseman to go off the board in your draft will certainly be Cano, but there is a crop of young guys looking to establish themselves at the keystone. While Gyorko has the most power of the group, Jurickson Profar and Anthony Rendon are fine hitters as well. I think there is a possibility that a lot of guys will have decent seasons, possibly very good seasons for second baseman.