San Diego Padres top prospect Jedd Gyorko has played third base since being drafted in the second round in 2010. Gyorko, 23, seemed to be be on a fast track to the majors, as a possible future Padres mainstay at third base. Having said that, Chase Headley‘s future with the Padres has always been in question because of his dramatic home/away splits. Headley also has been outspoken about his displeasure with how PETCO Park hinders his production. It was telling that ownership did not extend Headley, while extending less-established players like Cameron Maybin, Nick Hundley and Cory Luebke.
Recent statements made by CEO Tom Garfinkel could benefit Headley. Garfinkel made comments during an interview in the booth with Dick Enberg and Mark Grant on April 21. He indicated a strong possibility that the Padres will modify the fence in right field (the hitters graveyard in PETCO Park). It’s possible that such a change could affect whether they trade Headley at the deadline this year or make him the Padres permanent fixture at third base. I would imagine Headley would be more inclined to sign such an extension, if Padres ownership made the aforementioned modifications to right field.
That brings me back to Gyorko. What would the change mean for the Padres top third base prospect? I guess the Padres could use him along with another prospect to pull a reverse Mat Latos deal. Meaning, trading away a player or two for another established star to make the Padres as competitive as quickly as possible. Another possibility: The Padres could move him to second base, the position where many analysts were predicting that Gyorko (a former shortstop in College) would transition to coming out of the draft. The word on the street is that Gyorko will be playing much more at second base. With the Padres being so thin up the middle, accompanied with Orlando Hudson‘s struggles, and even possible release, I believe it’s very possible to see Gyorko make a permanent transition to second. I believe the Padres would like to see both Headley and Gyorko in the lineup at the same time. Gyorko made a notable start at second base for the San Antonio Missions on Monday. Coincidence? You be the judge.