GRANVILLE, W.Va. – Former University High School, and West Virginia University, baseball standout, Jedd Gyorko, was officially introduced as the next manager of the West Virginia Black Bears on Monday.
Gyorko, along with Black Bears General Manager, Matthew Drayer, spoke with the media, virtually.
“He’s very experience. (He has) a lot of skill, he can work really well with the younger players,” said Drayer. “So, I’m very excited to have Jedd come to the ballpark and be our manager.”
“Obviously I’m excited for the new gig, I’m looking forward to it. It should be a fun summer.” said Gyorko. “Glad to be back here in Morgantown, obviously this is home, but this summer I don’t have to leave.”
Gyorko, a former All-American at WVU, says family is ultimately what brought him back to the Mountain State for this chapter of his baseball career.
“My wife and I just figured it would be best for me to stay at home. We’re expecting our fourth kid in June,” said Gyorko.
The playing part of his career isn’t officially over yet, however. Gyorko says he hasn’t officially retired from playing in the big leagues, and also stated he’s been given permission by the MLB Draft League to accept an MLB player contract at any time.”
“I had multiple big-league offers this offseason,” said Gyorko. “If an opportunity presents itself, and it’s something that I want to do, I can take that and go. But it definitely won’t be until the baby is born in June.”
He added that he’s committed to the team, and doesn’t expect to be leaving anytime soon.
Gyorko, who has logged eight seasons of Major League Baseball experience, has played under some of the top managers in the game.
“Started off with Buddy Black, who’s been a Manager of the Year. Mike Metheny, I think he also won one. Craig Counsell, he won another one as well. I’ve been under some pretty good ones” said Gyorko. “I’ve gotten to learn a lot from those guys. You just take bits and pieces from each guy. Dave Roberts is another guy, he was also Manager of the Year. … I’ve taken a little bit from each of those guys. You just learn as you mature as a ballplayer, and that’s something that hopefully I can teach these kids.”
Gyorko added that he thinks the balance of his playing experience, and all the tips he’s learned while playing for the managers he’s mentioned, will benefit he and the Black Bears players.
The former UHS multi-sport, all-state star, will now be getting his first managerial experience in a ballpark that’s situated at an address that bears his name, 2040 Gyorko Drive.
The Black Bears are no longer a part of the New York Penn League, and are now members of the newly created MLB Draft League.
“Obviously it’s not easy to get to the big leagues, and I would’ve loved to have a league like this, or someone who had been through it, to give me advice in what to expect,” said Gyorko.
Rosters of the six-team MLB Draft League will be stocked with some of the top draft prospects of the MLB Draft each year. Players that play for the Black Bears will now not only be future Pirates, but will be future Orioles, Reds, Yankees, and all other MLB teams.
“We’re going to get these premier college prospects,” said Drayer.
Rosters have not yet been released. The MLB Draft League official Twitter account has been tweeting the names of players who will be in the league this summer.
Drayer says that Monongalia County Ballpark will have a reduced capacity at the start of the Black Bears season.