Yesterday, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com broke down the top ten third basemen prospects in all of baseball. Coming in at number seven on that list was Jedd Gyorko. If we consider the 30 Major League teams, the number of prospects at each level in each organization, and the constant supply of potential prospects from college, Gyorko’s placement at number seven is impressive. Gyorko figures to be a big part of the Padres plans going forward, and for good reason.
Gyorko was quickly promoted to Double-A last season after dominating A-ball. He then went on to win the Arizona Fall League batting title. He seems poised to make the leap to Triple-A where his numbers should skyrocket even further. Mayo said, “He also settled nicely into third base and shouldn’t have a problem staying there. With Gyorko’s advanced bat, it shouldn’t be long before he’s ready to hit at Petco.” The next question is how he compares to the other third base prospects across the league.
Here’s the list done up by MLB.com:
1. Nolan Arenado – Rockies
2. Miguel Sano – Twins
3. Anthony Rendon – Nationals
4. Mike Olt – Rangers
5. Nick Castellanos – Tigers
6. Will Middlebrooks – Red Sox
7. Jedd Gyorko – Padres
8. Matt Dominguez – Marlins
9. Wilmer Flores – Mets
10. Zach Cox – Cardinals
Mayo and MLB.com had their reasons for ranking each of the six players ahead of Gyorko, but we’ll compare them all to Gyorko. Forgetting about the three ranked below Gyorko, we’ll focus on Arenado, Sano, Olt, Castellanos, and Middlebrooks in comparison to Gyorko’s numbers. Anthony Rendon has not yet played even rookie ball and I don’t want to compare his college numbers against minor league numbers.
Gyorko may be the most advanced of each of these prospects. If he makes Triple-A this season, which seems like a virtual lock, he will be one of only two on this list to have made it that high in the organization. He’s also the second oldest of the bunch behind Will Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks spent time at Triple-A last season and like Gyorko, he may see a call up in 2012.
Gyorko’s career OPS of .909 is second to only Miguel Sano’s .936. The caveat there though is that Sanos has yet to break out of rookie league play. Gyorko has put up his numbers across rookie league, low A, high A, and Double-A. Gyorko’s OBP is the highest among each of the above players. His .392 is six points higher than Mike Olt’s .386 career OBP.
Gyorko has done nothing but hit since being drafted by the Padres. However, he was not a natural third baseman. He has performed adequately at the position, but it’s likely that the lack of a natural position causes him to drop on most prospect lists. If you look at his batting numbers independent of anything else, Gyorko should probably rank toward the top of any list.
Gyorko strikes out 20% of the time which is second lowest behind Nolan Arenado. Arenado strikes out just 11% of the time which is incredible. Gyorko also walks the second most of any of these players. Again, behind just Arenado. Arenado’s bating eye in his short time between rookie ball, low A ball, and high A ball may be the true reason his is so high on this list.
In all, a seventh place ranking across all of Major League Baseball’s third base prospects is more than respectable. As the rankings for each position come out on MLB.com, I’m sure we will see many more Padres prospects on the lists. Gyorko is an incredibly talented young player who the Padres hope will make an immediate impact. He may be deserving of a higher ranking on the above list, but it’s hard to complain about number seven overall.