For the sixth straight year, we’re taking a look back at everyone that played for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. Whether they were a major contributor or a bit player, here all year or for just a little while, we’ll look at their season and talk about what went right and what went wrong. The stat line listed is just their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers in the discussion may be for the entire year. Imagine this as them stopping by Mike Matheny‘s office for a little review on their way home for the winter. As always when you see incredible artistry in the blogs, all credit for the header work goes to @cardinalsgifs.
Player: Jedd Gyorko
Season stats: 125 G, 481 PA, 52 R, 21 2B, 2 3B, 20 HR, 67 RBI, 6 SB, 47 BB, 105 K, .272/.341/.472, 112 OPS+, 3.6 bWAR
Hero/Goat: Hero 12, Goat 6
Overall grade: A-
Positives: Followed up his surprising 2016 with another solid season, locking down the third base job until an injury curtailed him in September….had 16 defensive runs saved above average (per Baseball Info Solutions) at third base….hit .327 against lefthanders….hit .300 with an .882 OPS in the first half….hit .313 coming off the bench….had a .350 average and 1.076 OPS in the sixth spot in the lineup….had a fast start to the season, putting up a 1.053 OPS in April….had a 1.100 OPS on the first pitch….had a .300 average with runners in scoring position….had a .953 OPS with two outs and RISP….hit .305 in night games.
Negatives: Injury was a factor, but hit .224 in the second half….had a .610 OPS in July….hit .239 in games the Cardinals lost….hit .172 when had two strikes….hit .244 with the bases empty….had a .555 OPS in late and close situations….hit .259 in high leverage situations….hit .234 against the Cubs, albeit with three home runs.
Overview: Nobody expected Gyorko to really smack 30 homers again. In fact, there wasn’t a guarantee he was actually going to be the starter this season, though that quickly went by the wayside. Gyorko was likely the first half MVP or at least in the running with Tommy Pham as he hit 13 homers to go along with that .300 average. There was even some general though that Gyorko could make the All-Star Game, which he didn’t but it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.
He wore down a bit in the second half and late in the season wound up with a hamstring injury that saw him miss the first part of September (and limited him the rest of the way). Still, two years into the Gyorko stint in St. Louis and everyone still can’t believe John Mozeliak got him for Jon Jay. It looks less like a fluke and more like a baseline for expectations going forward.
Outlook: As good as Gyorko is, he still doesn’t rate as a core player. If the Cardinals decide that their “impact bat” is Josh Donaldson or someone else that plays third, they might shift Gyorko back to the super sub role that they expected he’d be or he might be part of the deal going out. If not, though, having Gyorko at third and hitting sixth is not a bad thing assuming another addition to the offense is made.