Jedd Gyorko's Star Quickly Rising With San Diego Padres

By Thom Tsang
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB learning curve? What learning curve?

If there is supposed to be such a thing for incoming rookies in the bigs, someone must have forgotten to tell Jedd Gyorko about it.

Sure, he’s one of the top organizational prospect in the San Diego Padres system, and was considered a top-100 prospect by Baseball America coming into the 2013 season, but where many of his peers have come in and been overmatched by the sheer difficulty of the game at its highest level, Gyorko has more than held his own.

Forget just staying above water, though. These days, the 24-year-old is quickly establishing himself as one of the top rookies in the league, having accumulated 0.5 fWAR through 32 games with a sound .271/.336/.424 triple-slash through his first 131 PA (which leads all rookies along with his 32 hits, by the way).

So you probably wouldn’t be too surprised that it was more of the same on Tuesday, as the team’s No. 5 hitter just kept hitting and getting on base with a 1-for-2 night at the plate, scoring a run while drawing a pair of walks.

Not only did he help the Friars to a 5-1 victory — their third straight — over the woeful Miami Marlins, it also continued a personal hitting streak of five games, as he’s now hit in six of his last seven.

We aren’t just talking about your regular base hits either. All three of Gyorko’s homers in 2013 has come in the first week of May, putting him on a nice .360/.407/.800 run right now — numbers that you don’t normally see from Padres players not named Chase Headley.

Then again, considering that Gyorko has been seeing the baseball like a beach ball (ridiculous 30.8 percent line drive rate), you might say that the power binge was probably a long time coming.

Sure, you could point to a .326 BABIP as part of the reason for success, though it’s important to not that he’s been a high-BABIP hitter throughout his time in the minors, so while the average/OBP might eventually take a slight dip, the hits should keep coming as long as he’s lining the ball.

While it’s probably too early to anoint him a young star by any means, Gyorko is sure making his presence felt early in the 2013 season. If there is a rookie who can bust out from being buried behind the San Diego screen, he might just be the man to do it.

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