The San Diego Padres are not one of the better teams in Major League Baseball and their play quite clearly reflects that fact. They rank in the bottom third of the league in most offensive categories, aren’t exceptional by any means defensively, and rank in the lower half of the league in most pitching categories. They are entirely unremarkable.
Because of that, it’s not surprising that they have a record of just 20-23 and are currently in next to last place in the National League West. It hasn’t been an easy year for the Padres thus far and they haen’t really had any players step up as stars that can somewhat carry the team. They have enjoyed a promising rookie season from 24-year-old Jedd Gyorko.
Before this season, Gyorko had never played a game in the majors and had spent the last three years making his way through the minors. Last year in 92 games at Triple-A, Gyorko hit .328 with a .380 OBP and .968 OPS. He also hit 24 home runs and drove in 83 runs in Triple-A. There’s no doubt he showed all the signs of a quality prospect.
However, it’s hard to believe that the Padres expected him to be as productive as he has been in his first taste of the big leagues. Through the first 43 games of the season, Gyorko is batting .273 with a .337 OBP and a .764 OPS. He’s also already knocked 11 doubles, four homers, driven in 15 runs and scored another 18. For most 24-year-olds, he’s had a great start to the year.
There’s still obvious room for improvement with Gyorko. The Padres would undoubtedly like to see him improve his plate discipline as he is walking in just eight percent of his plate appearances and striking out in 20.9 percent of them. However, he is still a young prospect and there’s still a great deal of time for him to put in the work. Based on his potential and how he’s performed in his first appearance in the bigs, though, Gyorko looks like he might be a hidden gem for San Diego.