In the second round at pick 59, the Padres selected West Virginia shortstop Jedd Gyorko.

Gyorko is rated as the 39th best draft prospect by Baseball America, 43rd by John Sickels, and 57th by Keith Law. Gyorko is a 5-10, 185 right-hand hitting shortstop. He has a stocky frame and will likely move to second or third base in professional ball. He has a very solid bat, however:

Fresh 253 .409 .450 .612 17 26 28
Soph 262 .421 .487 .658 32 25 37
Junior 280 .381 .472 .750 43 24 48

He got better every year at West Virginia, and as a freshman he had a 1.072 OPS. That’s pretty good. He improved his control of the strike zone each progressive year, and although his batting average dropped as a Junior, he increased his home run output from eight in each of the previous two year to 19 in his final year at West Virginia.

His park/schedule adjusted Junior season stats from College Splits: .373/.467/.737, .503 wOBA. He played in a slight pitcher’s park and West Virginia’s strength of schedule was 129th in the country, both according to Boyd’s World.

According to Paul DePodesta, he also hit .326/.388/.488 last summer in the Cape Cod League. Those numbers may not look that impressive, but consider college hitters are switching from metal to wood bats, and the league as a whole hit about .235. Gyorko’s .323 batting average and .488 slugging percentage were both third in the league.

Here’s a video of Gyorko hitting:

I am no swing-mechanics expert, but he looks pretty good at the point of contact:


And again:


And while we’re at it, a home run vs. Maryland:


Here’s Jedd in the infield:

From my non-expert perspective, I like this pick at 59. Unlike Padres first round pick Whitson, Gyorko is a pretty decent bet to progress quickly and, at some point, make an impact in the majors. At the same time, due mostly to his body type and fielding ability, his upside probably isn’t near that of Whitson’s. But at 59, he’s a nice pick.