At a glance, Jedd Gyorko's .243 batting average and .801 OPS may come off as fairly standard. However, he slugged 30 home runs over 128 games, resulting in an unfathomably-low 59 RBI. Most of his power was seen when facing righties, against whom he had a .536 slugging percentage opposed to a .417 mark against southpaws. After hitting just 10 and 16 home runs in 2014 and 2015, respectively, skepticism as to whether or not last season's amount of muscle can be repeated is entirely justified. Defensively, he was used all around the infield for St. Louis last season, but in 2017 he is expected to start at third base against righties and move over to second base to spell Kolten Wong against southpaws. Having never hit above .250, Gyorko's upside is almost strictly tied to his ability to hit for power, which will likely regress somewhat in 2017.
Gyorko hit a solo home run in four at-bats in Thursday's 2-1 Grapefruit League win over the Twins. After smacking a career-high 30 homers last season, Gyorko failed to leave the yard this spring until last Monday, when he smacked a two-run homer against the Astros. Thursday's round-tripper came off Twins starter Kyle Gibson and opened the scoring on the afternoon. Gyorko continues to battle veteran Jhonny Peralta for the third base job, although both players have endured their share of struggles at the plate thus far.
Gyorko went 1-for-2 with a two-run home run and a walk in Monday's 6-3 Grapefruit League win over the Astros. Gyorko busted out the long ball for the first time this spring with a blast to right off Astros starter Charlie Morton, opening the scoring on the day. Despite muted production in the power department thus far, Gyorko has enjoyed a strong spring, as he's now slashing .304/.360/.565 over 23 at-bats. Considering his breakout 30-homer season in 2016, the 28-year-old makes for an intriguing fantasy option in the coming season if he's able to secure the everyday third base job, a role he's battling Jhonny Peralta for this spring. Notably, Gyorko is also capable of manning second base as he did Monday, which opens up the possibility for additional playing time.
Gyorko went 2-for-3 with a run-scoring double, another two-bagger and one run in Thursday's 9-4 Grapefruit League win over the Braves. Gyorko's bat has been scalding hot thus far, as he's now slashing .556/.556/.889 with three doubles and Thursday's RBI. The 28-year-old, who smacked a career-high 30 homers in his first Cardinals season in 2016, is battling Jhonny Peralta for the third base job this spring, but is also a potential right-handed option at first base when Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams sit against lefties.
Gyorko produced mixed results in Monday's batting practice session, struggling against Carlos Martinez but hitting a monstrous homer off Trevor Rosenthal, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The slugging infielder, who smacked 30 homers in his first Cardinals season in 2016, made waves in the morning session with a blast to right field off Rosenthal, who is trying to make the transition from closer to middle reliever or starter this spring. As encouraging as his round-tripper off Rosenthal was, Gyorko had also been humbled in an earlier round of at-bats against Martinez, who stymied him with his trademark changeup. "He's got good stuff. He's the guy that we leaned on last year, and we're going to lean on him again this year to be quality and go out and give us good innings."
Gyorko, who played second base, third base and shortstop in his first Cardinals season in 2016, is devoting his attention to a different position each day in spring training, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "Each and every day, a focus," Gyorko said. "It's pretty similar to what I did last season, but I think there's the one position each day that makes sense." Gyorko made his mark last season both at the plate and one the field, as he smacked 30 homers overall and more round-trippers than anyone in the majors other than the Twins' Brian Dozier after the All-Star break. He was also a valuable asset defensively and could add first base to his resume this season in addition to the aforementioned trio of positions he was deployed in during 2016. Although he's currently slated to challenge Jhonny Peralta for the third base job, the possibility exists that he could be deployed in a platoon with Kolten Wong at second. Wherever he lands, Gyorko is intent on being prepared, and will look to be as efficient with his power stroke as he was last season, when he was the only player in the majors with as many as 30 homers and fewer than 110 hits overall.