2014 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper: Jedd Gyorko
Looking for power numbers? How about 30 HR and 100 RBI? Aren’t we all? How about from a 2B? What I’m about to tell you isn’t a secret but it’s definitely fantasy gold: Jedd Gyorko can hit for power! He may not reach 30/100 this year but he will come close. In a league where only 42 players hit at least 23 HR in 2013, it’s even more rare to get that kind of power at second base. Only two 2B hit more than 22 HR last year. Robinson Cano finished with 27 and Gyorko finished with 23. Gyorko did this in 125 games, compared to Cano’s 160. Gyorko had the same number of HR as Freddie Freeman and more than Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Holliday.
Enough with the candy coating outside. It’s about the time in the article where I should tell you that the rest of his slash line last year didn’t live up to his HR total. His final line was 23 HR, 63 RBI, 62 R, .248 AVG and 1 SB. Not what you would consider elite numbers, but if you take into account games played, it was a pretty good rookie season, enough to finish 6th in NL Rookie of the Year voting.
Who is Jedd Gyorko?
Gyorko is from West Virginia, where he turned a stellar high school career into a scholarship at West Virginia University. He had a great career at WVU where he set multiple school records. His junior year he hit .381 with 19 HR and 57 RBI and was voted best SS in college baseball in 2010. This led to getting drafted in the second round of the 2010 MLB draft. Gyorko continued to bash in the minors, hitting 67 HR in 2 ½ seasons. He won the starting second base job after a strong spring training and little talent blocking his path.
He got off to a decent start, but was hindered by a groin injury which cost him a month in the summer. When he went on the DL, he had a respectable .284 average. Upon returning from the injury, Gyorko hit 15 HR in 204 AB in August and September. Again, the power numbers are nice but he did strike out at a 23.4% rate. Between his strikeouts and his .287 BABIP, Gyorko’s average hovered in the mid .200’s all season. If you’re worried about him playing half of his games at spacious Petco, don’t be. Although Petco finished dead last in ESPN park factor , Gyorko hit 13 of his 23 HR at home. That shows his power is legit. I’ve seen comparisons to a young Dan Uggla, and if he can put up the numbers that Uggla did, watch out. Uggla’s first 6 seasons averages: 31 HR, 91 RBI, 98 R and .258 BA. I’ll take those any day for Gyorko.
Gyorko was also classified as a sleeper last year, and if you had him for the stretch run he helped you win some championships. I’ve heard from friends that he single-handedly won them a championship with this grand slam on the final day of season. So calling him a sleeper this year isn’t going out on a limb, but for the round that you can find him still available, sleeper status applies. I’ve seen him go as high as 85 and as low as 160. He’s ranked anywhere from 5 to 14 for 2B. I have him as the 6th best 2B option this year. If you’re looking for some power out of your 2B slot, Gyorko is your guy. Gyorko is eligible at 3B in some leagues, making this an added bonus. Feel confident in pulling the trigger any time after pick 80 and be all Happy Happy Joy Joy with his production.
2014 Fantasy Projections: 28 HR, 84 RBI, 70 R, .254 BA