St. Louis Cardinals: Jedd Gyorko is to the Cardinals what Aaron Judge is to the Yankees

michaeldavidmiles
Apr 22, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Jedd Gyorko (3) drives in a run with a triple in the ninth inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 22, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Jedd Gyorko (3) drives in a run with a triple in the ninth inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New York Yankees have a gigantic “rookie” who has burst onto the scene with an outstanding slash and incredible power. Do the St. Louis Cardinals have a version of their own?

The St. Louis Cardinals (and their fans most certainly) would love to have an offensive force like Aaron Judge. Judge, with his rookie status still intact regardless of his eighty-four at-bats in 2016, has made a gigantic splash in the baseball world this year for the New York Yankees. Who, if anyone, is the Cardinals equivalent?

The twenty-five-year-old Aaron Judge is an almost daily highlight reel. His incredible size aside, Judge has shown an outstanding ability to play the outfield and an even better ability at the plate. In just eighty-eight at-bats this season, Judge has produced an impressive slash of .330/.433/.818.

This incredible slash comes on the heels of his miserable .179/.263/.345 through eighty-four at-bats at the conclusion of the 2016 season. His explosion and incredible number growth may seem even more impressive because of the bad numbers in 2016 but that does not take anything away from his great season.

Judge was a first-round draft pick by the New York Yankees in 2013 and many thought he was better suited for football with his impressive 6’7″ frame carrying 282 pounds of muscle. The dude is jacked. I once commented that Matt Holliday was jacked and that his forearms were as big as my legs. This pales in comparison to Judge.

I have not seen Judge in person- as I have seen Holliday- but I can tell you that what I’ve seen on television and in still shots of him standing with Holliday make him appear as a god among men.

The St. Louis Cardinals could certainly use an Aaron Judge figure to help them best the just-over-.500 record they are currently carrying. This was my thought after I saw yet another highlight of Judge’s outstanding plate prowess. And it got me thinking if, perhaps, the St. Louis Cardinals actually already have their own version of Judge.

Enter Jedd Gyorko. This dude is having one hell of a season. And he is doing it in fewer at-bats than Judge. No, Gyorko is not twenty-five; he’s actually approximately 3-4 years older at 28. No, Gyorko is not the muscle beast that is Judge; he’s actually a diminutive 5’10” with a weight of 215 pounds (diminutive in comparison to Judge).

All that said, Gyorko is slashing .348/.408/.710 in just sixty-nine at-bats. This means that he is batting .018 points higher than Judge in fewer at-bats, nearly equal in OBP to Judge in fewer at-bats, and falling short in SLG but still with an outstanding number in the few at-bats in which he has appeared this season.

This all noted, who should impress us the most? Surely a rookie with the explosive power of Judge is impressive, but shouldn’t we be impressed with a five-year veteran (can you call a five-year guy a veteran?) amassing similar numbers? Should we find more wow factor in a rookie slugging thirteen home runs in eighty-eight at-bats or the “veteran” slugging six in sixty-nine?

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How about a cost comparison to go along with the numbers comparisons? Judge is at the league minimum for salary in 2017 at $545k– this is an absolute steal. On the flip side, Gyorko is receiving $6M for 2017 with $2M coming from the San Diego Padres with the St. Louis Cardinals paying the remaining $4M.

Let me say that I am terribly impressed with and by Aaron Judge but I am also highly impressed with the Jedd Gyorko who has arrived in St. Louis this season. I was glad that the St. Louis Cardinals grabbed Gyorko when they did and impressed that Mozeliak pulled off the trade that snagged Gyorko while only surrendering Jon Jay.

Let me admit that the comparisons between Gyorko and Judge are slightly unfair but are at least worthy of a look. I came to them by thinking that the St. Louis Cardinals NEEDED an Aaron Judge when, in fact, we may already have an equivalent (albeit a weaker equivalent). The key now would be to utilize this equivalent to the fullest of its potential.

Next: Wong recovers and Weaver returns

Are you impressed with Gyorko? I wrote recently that his value is at its highest now and that the St. Louis Cardinals should shop him while his value is high; do you agree or should Mike Matheny continue to play Jedd on a daily basis and make him the Cardinals version of Judge? Let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading!

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