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Wade Gaynor

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Wade Randall Gaynor

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[edit] Biographical Information

Third baseman Wade Gaynor has played in the Detroit Tigers system since 2009 (through 2013).

Gaynor hit .323/.396/.434 as a college freshman. He improved his batting line to .347/.399/.598 as a sophomore, with 24 doubles, 13 home runs and 56 runs in 60 games. He tied Chad Cregar for 6th in the Sun Belt Conference with 90 hits, was second in doubles and ranked 10th in homers. He had an excellent junior year at Western Kentucky University, where he hit .371/.466/.781 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI in 62 games. He was third in the Sun Belt Conference in slugging (behind Bryce Brentz and Tyler Townsend), third in OPS (behind the same two), first in runs (4 ahead of Brentz), 5th in hits (93), second in homers (3 behind Brentz), tied for 4th in doubles (20), second in total bases (196, 18 behind Brentz), led in RBI (one over Townsend), was third in steals (21) and was 7th in walks (35). He was named the All-Conference third baseman. He finished 11th in NCAA Division I in slugging (between Gary Helmick and Chris Kersten), tied for 5th in homers with Chris Dominguez and Rich Poythress, tied for 16th in RBI (with Tommy Mendonca, Phil Wunderlich and Mike McGee), tied for 4th in runs (with Adam Duvall and Bryan Marquez), was third in total bases (after Brentz and Dustin Ackley) and tied for 33rd in hits (with Michael Choice and Kyle Bellows). Baseball America named him second-team All-American at DH; Dominguez was first-team at 3B and Anthony Rendon second-team while Poythress was first-team DH.

He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 3rd round of the 2009 amateur draft, one spot behind Donnie Joseph and a couple slots ahead of Wil Myers. He was the 89th overall pick and signed for a bonus over $390,000. He was the first position player Detroit took that year, as they went for pitchers Jacob Turner and Andy Oliver the first two rounds. The signing scout was Harold Zonder.

He hit a meek .192/.281/.282 in his pro debut with the Oneonta Tigers while fielding .952 at 3B. He led New York-Penn League third basemen in assists (107) and fielding percentage. Despite that start, Baseball America still rated him as Detroit's #24 prospect. In 2010, he hit .286/.354/.436 with 10 home runs, 80 RBI, 91 runs scored and 13 stolen bases (in 18 tries) in 131 games for the West Michigan Whitecaps though his fielding fell to .927. He was second in the Midwest League in runs (four behind Conner Crumbliss), tied Scooter Gennett for 5th in doubles and tied Matt Cerda for 5th in RBI. He led Tigers farmhands in runs, 10 ahead of Rawley Bishop, led in doubles (5 ahead of Jeff Frazier), was second in total bases (224, 13 behind Frazier) and was second in RBI (7 behind Bishop).

Gaynor's defense was back up (.953 at 3B) but his offensive production was down (.213/.287/.338) with the 2011 Lakeland Flying Tigers. He led Florida State League third basemen in fielding percentage but also led the loop in whiffs (137, 4 ahead of teammate Daniel Fields). Among Tiger minor leaguers, he was third in strikeouts. In 2012, he hit .252/.352/.442 with 16 home runs, 74 RBI and 11 stolen bases (in 14 attempts) in 118 games split between the Flying Tigers (.254/.353/.443 in 105 G) and Erie SeaWolves (.229/.341/.429 in 13 G). He tied Ryan Schimpf for 5th in the FSL with 14 dingers. He was third in the Tiger chain in that category (behind Brad Eldred and Jordan Lennerton), third in RBI (behind Lennerton and Dean Green) and was 6th with 56 walks (between Tyler Collins and Niuman Romero).

In 2013 with Erie, he batted .226/.290/.375 with 31 doubles, 66 runs and 64 RBI while fanning 153 times and drawing 37 walks. He fielded .967 and led the Eastern League's third basemen in fielding percentage, putouts (95) and assists (227). He won a Rawlings Gold Glove as the top defensive third baseman in the minor leagues, though Baseball America didn't even list him as the best defensive third baseman in the EL, putting Giovanny Urshela ahead. He was one of three Tiger minor leaguers to win, as Lennerton was picked at 1B and Jason Krizan was chosen in LF. Among Detroit minor leaguers, he was 9th in RBI, second in strikeouts and tied Hernan Perez and Ramon Cabrera for second in doubles (6 behind Nick Castellanos). He was also third in the Eastern League in Ks and tied Caleb Joseph for fourth in doubles.

A low-average hitter in the minor leagues, he hit .239 through his first five professional seasons. He had a .316 OBP and .384 slugging percentage.

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