Position: Third Baseman
Gaynor becomes the Tigers third round pick in 2009 on the heels of a fantastic season at Western Kentucky. The 21-year old junior was named to the Sun Belt Conference's All-Conference 1st Team. Gaynor ranked first in the conference in runs scored (74) and third in RBI (67) while posting a robust .383 batting average and 21 home runs. With a stolen base during the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, Gaynor became the first Hilltopper in history to post a 20-homer, 20-steal season.
His junior season wasn't the only one where he posted strong numbers, as Gaynor earned 2nd Team All-Conference honors as a sophomore with a .347 batting mark, while also earning All-Tournament honors in the league tournament. Gaynor also tied a school record by knocking 24 doubles in 2008. Gaynor was a big contributor as a freshman as well, ripping opponent's pitches to the tune of a .323 average, seven doubles, and five home runs.
Though there were no accolades for Gaynor during his first season on campus, he was a key player, starting 52 games. Gaynor played for Elmira in the New York Collegiate Baseball League that summer, gitting .350 with 13 doubles and eight steals in 41 games.
Gaynor is most known for a top notch bat that should play at the pro level. He has above-average raw power generated with good bat speed and some loft to his swing. He can hit with power to all fields, but is best when driving the ball from left-center to the left field line. There are questions about his ability to hit for average at the pro level, as there are many moving parts in his swing. If he can quiet his swing mechanics and get the bat in the zone quicker, he could become a guy capable of hitting around .300 annually.
As a third baseman, Gaynor has a strong arm with accuracy and carry on his throws. He understands the position and has a chance to be an average defender thanks to his athleticism. His reactions are a little slow at the hot corner and he needs improved footwork on all of his plays. Many scouts I spoke with see a move to either left field or first base in his future.
Gaynor is a heady player who enjoys being on the field and working on his craft. He has the work ethic to make himself into a better player and improve himself defensively, so there is hope for his ability to remain an offensive minded third baseman. Gaynor should hit immediately upon turning pro, and he could be a .270-.280 hitter with 25-30 home run potential.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% COL
There have been no major injuries in Gaynor's history. He has a sturdy frame and excellent workout habits. Outside of any risks associated with a potential position switch down the line, there are no glaring cautions regarding his health.
Gaynor was a bit of a reach in the third round, as he was probably more of a fourth or fifth round talent in this year's draft, but for a team that truly believes in his bat, its not an egregious stretch. He should be an easy sign that should start playing right away in Oneonta later this month. It may take some time for his power to fully manifest itself with wood bats, but he should be a doubles machine as a rookie, and his bat could allow him to get through both A-ball levels by the end of 2010.
Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.