GRANVILLE, W.Va. – With a name as synonymous as baseball itself in Northwest Central West Virginia, it is with great pleasure the West Virginia Black Bears today announce that Jedd Gyorko has been appointed manager for the Black Bears for 2021 in the team’s inaugural season in the MLB Draft League. The Morgantown-native, WVU Hall of Fame player and eight-year Major League infielder is the 5th manager in the Black Bears history.
Gyorko will lead the Black Bears first ever MLB Draft League team starting on Opening Day at Monongalia County Ballpark, Monday, May 24 against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. The rest of the Black Bears coaching staff and their initial Opening Day roster is to be announced.
“It’s only fitting to have someone who has meant so much to baseball in our region lead our hometown team in our first year in the MLB Draft League. From his early days bringing state championships to University High, to his record-breaking performances at WVU to his great success at the game’s highest stage, Jedd played the game the right way and will be bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to lead our young squad of MLB-hopefuls,” said Matt Drayer, General Manager of the Black Bears.
“I am hoping to provide our young players with experiences and give them knowledge on what the next level will look like and hopefully prepare them for successful careers,” Gyorko said. “I am thankful for the opportunity and look forward to gaining managerial experience, especially in my hometown, where I’ll be able to spend more time with my family.”
For Gyorko, 32, this season will be the first of his coaching career. In MLB’s shortened 2020 campaign, the infielder hit nine home runs and 17 RBI in 42 games for the Milwaukee Brewers. A former 2nd round pick of the Padres in 2010, Gyorko finished 6th in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2013 after hitting .249 with 23 homers and 63 RBI in 125 games with San Diego. He played in parts of four seasons with the Cardinals from 2016-2019 and hit a career-best 30 home runs for St. Louis in 2016. Overall, he averaged .245 with 121 home runs and 370 RBI in 846 career big league games over eight seasons.
No stranger to sports fans in the region, Gyorko was a four-time All-Conference and three-time All-State honoree at University High School. He helped lead the Hawks to West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission State Championships in both 2004 and 2007. He then played three years at West Virginia University where he started all 168 games he played in and left the Mountaineers program as their all-time leader in average (.404), extra-base hits (113) and home runs (T1st, 35). He’s also second in WVU history in runs scored (207), RBI (178) and doubles (73) and third in total hits (281). After garnering 10 All-American Honors, he became the 7th highest drafted player from the Mountaineer program after being selected 59th overall by San Diego in 2010. In 2020, Gyorko was inducted into the Mountaineers’ Sports Hall of Fame.