Jedd Gyorko is a man without a home in 2019 and we are gonna see how well he is going to do for the St. Louis Cardinals as a true utility man.
Honestly, if you would’ve asked me if Jedd Gyorko, Jose Martinez and Yairo Munoz would all be on the St. Louis Cardinals at the beginning of February, I would’ve said no. Of those three, Gyorko is by far the player that I would pick to trade simply because Yairo Munoz makes him obsolete in my opinion.
Gyorko has been wonderful here after being traded in 2016. While San Diego is paying part of his salary for 2019, the Cardinals are still on the hook for $8M of his $13M salary. While Gyorko is costing the Cardinals that $8M, Yairo Munoz costs just $500k in his sophomore season. That on top of the fact that Munoz plays just as many positions as Gyorko and is about the same player offensively made me expect Gyorko to be moved. The Cardinals could still move Gyorko, they just may have to attach a lower level prospect to him to offset that $8M.
Looking back at 2018, Gyorko was the Cardinals starting third baseman for the majority of the year but got starts at every infield position (and even a pitching appearance). While Gyorko’s power dipped a little last year (slug dropped from .472 to .416), he was still about the same level producer at the plate as he has been in all his years here, sitting right around that 110 OPS+ mark.
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In the field, Gyorko was not quite as good as he was in 2017 at third base as his DRS dropped from 16 to 6, but still, a very solid third baseman that is nothing to complain about.
I think that is the majority of what we can say about Gyorko. He is great in the role that the Cardinals acquired him for: super utility infielder. The problems for Gyorko begin when he is forced into the lineup too often due to injury. But in his role, he is an unsung hero that excels at a role that’s not glamorous.
Looking ahead to 2019, ZiPS has Gyorko continuing to put up solid numbers that don’t wow anyone but in the role he is expected to play, that is great production. Gyorko more or less was the main third baseman last year, but this year, Paul Goldschmidt pushes Matt Carpenter over to third which means Gyorko should truly be in the super utility role.
As far as what I think of those projections, there is a slight dip shown which I don’t see why there would be any reason for it. Gyorko is going to be 30 in 2019, he is not going to be very set in his playing time, but he hasn’t been for a lot of the time he has been with the St. Louis Cardinals. His BABIP was .303 in 2018 and looking at a quick skim at other stats that signal overproduction, I don’t see anything that stands out for Gyorko. I will take the slight over on these numbers.
My Projection: .259 BA, .326 OBP, .440 SLUG, 16 HR, 60 RBI, 105 OPS+, 2.5 WAR
My projection is ever-so-slightly better than ZiPS, but my discrepancy is mostly with the fact that I don’t think Gyorko will decline in 2018. There’s no reason for him to. I am a huge fan of Gyorko, although I do still think the Cardinals should save some cap space and find a match where he can play everyday while looking for a reliever in return.