Padres Draft Interview: Jedd Gyorko

The San Diego Padres popped Jedd Gyorko (Jerk-o) in the second round. He is eager to get started on his career and looks forward to continually pushing the path towards the bigs and shoving it in the faces of those who knocked him because of his physical traits.

What was the feeling after getting drafted by the San Diego Padres in the second round of the 2010 MLB Draft?

Jedd Gyorko: I am glad for this thing to be over for sure. The waiting is such a pain. I am thankful and grateful to the Padres, and I can't wait to start playing for them.

You go into a system that already has West Virginia alums Vince Belnome and Joe Agreste. What kind of comfort is that to have two of your guys already there?

Jedd Gyorko: Those two guys were some of my better friends on the team last year. Knowing they will be there is an awesome experience. Like I said, I can't wait to get started.

What kind of player are you. You led West Virginia in a number of different categories. Where do you see yourself fitting in?

Jedd Gyorko: First and foremost, I am a hitter. I love to go up there and try and hit the ball hard. They drafted me a second baseman. I think I can play third – wherever they want me to play, I will do. I am willing to try anything.

Do you believe the reason you might not have been taken on the first day was because teams weren't sure of your position? I know you played shortstop in college, but like you mentioned, they announced you as a second baseman.

Jedd Gyorko: I don't really know. I can't talk for other clubs. They went a different way. That is going to happen. I am thankful to the Padres and looking forward to starting my season and my career.

Did you have any idea that the Padres were interested in you or did you go have a workout with them?

Jedd Gyorko: I didn't have a workout with them but talked to a bunch of their scouts. I am excited.

Obviously, you are a hitter and that is your forte. How young were you when you realized you can really play this game?

Jedd Gyorko: I started playing baseball, I think, when I was about three. From that point on, it has been everything I have wanted to do. I love baseball. I love everything about it. I have taken this serious from the start.

How have you matured since going to college out of high school? Some of these kids are jumping right into professional ball while you got the benefit of the college experience.

Jedd Gyorko: I was able to mature mentally and physically. I got myself in good shape. I am a lot stronger than when I came in. Playing three years of D-1 baseball has helped me mature mentally. I have seen just about everything that can happen. I am ready for the next step.

You played in the Cape Cod League this past summer. What was that experience like, especially with the wood bat where you could show scouts you are more than just an aluminum bat kid?

Jedd Gyorko: It was a great experience and to be able to play in the All-Star game was unbelievable. I got to show scouts that I could still produce with the wood bats. It was huge for me to go up there and perform – to show scouts it is not all about the aluminum bat. I can swing just as well with wood also.

Scouts are looking for these physical tools. As a prospect that is 5-foot-10, you fall into this ‘bad body' label. Is that a fair assessment? What do you say to these guys that are looking for these projection tools?

Jedd Gyorko: I don't really care what they say. I am not a guy that worries about what other people think. I know what I can do and I go out and perform. Being short, I have a short, compact swing so it works to my advantage.

You walked more than you struck out this year. Is that pitch selection a big part of your game?

Jedd Gyorko: Absolutely. That is a huge part of hitting, getting a pitch you like and being able to drive it when you get it. I got pitched around a little bit this year and I was glad to take my walks. It is hard to hit balls. Get a good pitch to hit and be ready for it.

What do you look forward to as you go into professional baseball?

Jedd Gyorko: This has been my dream. I look forward to just playing every day and every game. I have waited my whole life for this opportunity. Now that it is here, I am not going to let it pass me by.

While it is not necessarily fair to compare yourself to a major leaguer, have there been any people who have said you do compare favorable to someone in the majors?

Jedd Gyorko: I have heard a lot that I am a like Dan Uggla. I would agree with that. He is more of a power hitting second baseman – definitely a bat first. I would agree with that.

What do you need to do defensively to improve?

Jedd Gyorko: I think I just need to work on my foot speed and range. When the ball is hit right at me, I am pretty good at it. I need to work on my lateral movement to get to more balls.

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