Feb. 9, 2010

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Nine Innings with Jedd Gyorko

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


Jedd Gyorko is a junior shortstop at West Virginia University. A preseason All-American and preseason Big East Player of the Year, Gyorko hit .421 a season ago with eight home runs, 58 RBI and a school-record 28 doubles.


A native of Morgantown, W.Va., Gyorko batted .409 as a freshman to give him a career batting average of .415 for the Mountaineers.


Gyorko hit .323 for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League this past summer with six doubles, five homers, 18 RBI and 18 runs in 34 games. He was rated the No. 4 prospect in the Cape by Baseball America.


Gyorko recently took time to answer our questions.

First Inning – How is it playing college baseball in your hometown?       

It is very convenient being able to play in Morgantown. It’s great to see my family at every home game. It’s nice to know that I am supported by the entire city. I have always lived here and couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else.

Second Inning – What does it mean to you to be Preseason Big East Player of the Year?
It’s an honor to be named Big East preseason POY. There are so many great players in this conference that it could’ve gone to. It’s also an honor to see what the coaches think of me; however, it’s only preseason. It would be much more gratifying if it would be postseason POY.

Third Inning – Do personal accolades put pressure on you?
I don’t think personal accolades put any pressure on me. I go out every day and do what the team needs me to do. Baseball is a team game, so the only pressure I put on myself is to help my team succeed.

Fourth Inning – What did you learn the most playing in the Cape Cod League this past summer?
I learned that I can compete while using a wood bat. I also got some quality playing time at second and third base that will help as my career hopefully progresses.

Fifth Inning – What must the Mountaineers do this season to reach an NCAA regional?
I think we need to be more consistent than the past two years. In the past, we would look solid for a couple series at a time and then go through other series where we just weren’t ourselves. We need to bring our best game each and every game.

Sixth Inning – What will you look most to improve from 2009 to 2010?
I am looking to improve on every aspect of the game. Most importantly I want to continue my hitting, but improve on my range and arm strength in the field.

Seventh Inning – You had more walks than strikeouts last season. What is the biggest key to accomplish that?
The biggest key is swinging at good pitches. When pitchers make mistakes, I can’t miss that pitch. I also have to be discipline enough to take my walks.

Eighth Inning – Does the success of the football and basketball teams help with a winning attitude for the baseball team?
I think to an extent it does. We are very different from the other sports, but our university strives to be great in everything we do. Seeing them succeed the way they do, we feel that we need to step it up the way they do.

Ninth Inning – WVU is 49-11 at home the past two seasons. What makes you so good at Hawley Field? Does the Mountaineer mascot shoot the rifle at home games?

We are very comfortable playing at home, and comfort is a huge factor in the way you play baseball. We also don’t want people coming into our house and winning, we take it very serious. The mountaineer did shoot the rifle at one home game last year. It was a pretty cool experience.


(photos courtesy of WVU Media Relations Office)