Madfriars' Interview: Jedd Gyorko

Jedd Gyorko was the Padres 2nd round pick in last years draft. He quickly jumped to the top 10 in a very crowded Padre prospect list. This year he was named a Cal League all star after leading the league in most offensive stats. If that wasn't enough he was named the MVP of the Cal League – Carolina League All Star Game.

We sat down with the power hitting 3B shortly before his promotion to AA.

First off you lead the league in nearly every offensive stat. What have you been doing at the plate that has enabled you to hit so well?

Jedd Gyorko: I have just really been seeing the ball well right now. The key has always been to get good pitches and put a good swing on it. Hopefully I can keep it going.

With hitting so well have you had to make many adjustments throughout the year?

Jedd Gyorko: I think the biggest thing for me is developing a routine day in day out that works for me. I have been working on taking the same swing, swinging through the same bat plane each AB. I have really been working hard with {Phil Plantier} on getting consistent with my swing and trying to keep it there.

We, as fans and reporters, have been hearing since you were drafted that you were the best "pure" hitter in the draft. What does that term pure hitter mean to you?

Jedd Gyorko: I honestly have no idea. I hear it too, but I am not exactly sure what it means. I try not to pay too much attention to that stuff, or get caught up in the hype. I just go out there and play the game, and I think I do it pretty well. So to me it just means that I need to keep going out there and doing what I do.

This year the Storm have had you and Rincon switching back and forth between 3B and DH. I know a lot of players who are used to taking the field have problems being a DH. Is there anything different you do when you are a DH vs being in the field?

Jedd Gyorko: Not really. Whenever I am the DH I end up pacing up and down the dugout trying to stay in the game as much as possible. The main thing is attempting to stay in the game when your team is in the field. I try to stay active in the dugout, cheer on the team, and stay in the game as much as possible until I am up to bat.

So you played SS your senior year, you were announced as a 2B when you were drafted, and now you've been playing 3B with the Padres. What position to you feel most comfortable at?

Jedd Gyorko: Well…. I like the batters box. That is by far my favorite position. Anywhere I can play in the field that will allow me to get up to the plate, I like it. Anyway I can help the team. I am a hitter first, so I will play any position they want me to if it gets me up to bat.

The scouting report on you coming out of college talked about how you could hit for average, power, great eye at the plate… but their one knock on you was that you have "average speed for a catcher." Despite that you have 11 SB and 2 3B this year. Anything you attribute to the extra burst of speed?

Jedd Gyorko: (laughs) Well one of the perks about not looking like you are fast, the pitchers don't really pay that much attention to me. I think it allows me to take an extra step or two. I try to be sneaky, take an extra base whenever I can, and catch the pitcher not paying attention. So far I have been pretty successful so we will see how it goes.

Did you do anything over the offseason to increase your speed.

Jedd Gyorko: Between the offseason, spring training, and the great weather in the Cal League I have lost about 20 lb which has to help. I've also been working with the coaches this year on getting a bit quicker out of the box and from 1st so I can beat out a hit or take the extra base. I'm a little bit smaller but I am still getting stronger. Hopefully as the year goes on I keep on working on building muscle and getting faster. My goal is always just to do my best in all aspects of the game.

Any goals for the year?

Gyorko: Win a championship. That is my goal, and should be the goal of every player and every team every new year. We had a bit of a rough start, but have really been coming together as a team and getting better and winning games. Hopefully we can keep it going, and bring home a championship.

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