Jedd Gyorko made the San Diego Padres out of spring training as a bat first infielder. My odds system had him as the 11th best hitting prospect in AA or AAA last year, just behind Oscar Taveras (he was still in the top 70 after considering defense and baserunning). So far, he hasn't disappointed, with decent peripherals and good power numbers through a little more than a month and a half. In this post, I will look at what the pitch data says about him and whether we can expect continued success.
First, let's see where pitchers are throwing to him on average along with where he is having success:
As you can see, the average pitch is low and on the outside part of the plate, a little lower is where his average whiff is. There isn't much of a difference between his hits and outs other than the hits are very slightly closer to the center. The runs scored (homers and RBI plays) at-bats are on the inside part of the plate. So it really isn't height that drives his power, like many hitters, it is balls on the inside part of the plate. So bat speed is probably not an issue for him, but let's look at the kind of pitches he is seeing:
While his strikeout rate is about league average, his whiff percentage is above league average (suggesting that some kind of correction could be coming). Here are the pitches he has whiffed on:
Overall, Gyorko has shown that he has real MLB hitting abilities, handling the inside ball and good fastballs really well. Adjusting to the outside and low breaking ball has been a little bit of a struggle so far, and something he will need to improve on if he is going to be a consistent hitter in the big leagues.