Profile: 3B - 6'3" - 225lbs -BT:R - TH:R - 2011 Age: 23
• Hit: 35-45
• Power: 45-50
• Eye: 40-50
• Range: 45-45
• Hands: 45-50
• Arm: 50-50
• Run: 45-50
Taken by the Tigers in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft, Gaynor represents the highest ever pick out of Western Kentucky University, and he signed for a solid 395K bonus. A third baseman with WKU, he led the team in homeruns during his junior season with 25 as the team advanced to the regional championships for the first time ever. After struggling during his debut season, Gaynor posted far stronger numbers in 2010, showcasing some of the power he displayed in college.
At the plate Gaynor has a polished approach and a strong fundamentals, but he lacks a lot of the natural hand speed and wrist strength needed to get the bat through the zone quickly. His swing also has a tendency to get long and you can beat him with off speed stuff and hard fastballs inside. The holes in his swing lead to his share of strikeouts and he won't barrel a ton of balls either. Instead he relies mostly on getting good extension and hitting for power to carry his offensive game.
Defensively Gaynor isn't particularly impressive. His range is substandard but passable. His arm is also more average than good - he won't be throwing anyone out on a line from his knees, and he'll bounce his fair share of throws. Still, he has good enough hands and should be serviceable as he climbs the ladder. Despite being a bigger guy with poor range, Gaynor does actually possess decent speed and has good base running instincts. He's not a huge steal threat but could be good for 10 steals a year through this 20s.
Despite a thoroughly disappointing first professional season - largely the result of a horribly low BABIP - Gaynor rebounded nicely in 2010 at Class A. He retained solid if unspectacular strikeout and walk rates but continued to display poor LD rates and his overall performance was BABIP aided. It's also worth noting that at 22, he wasn't young for his level of competition, so there is no bonus to be given there.
Feels like a bench bat who could play in a corner, either in the infield or outfield while providing thump against lefties.
Corey Ettinger is a Senior Writer for Baseball Digest as well as a proud contributor to both 612Sports.net, 312Sports.com, and 313sports.com. He also provides extensive analysis of the American League Central Division at his own blog, AL Central In Focus. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Coreyettinger for the latest updates, random thoughts and general tomfoolery.