Monday, January 20, 2014

Eric Jagielo, 3B:

Eric Jagielo was the first of the Yankees first round picks, and the third baseman is the the safest pick of the three. Jagielo was previously drafted out of the 50th round coming out of high school. This shows just how far he's progressed in his three years at Notre Dame. Considering the teams need for a third baseman and their lack of top third base prospects he was the smartest choice at pick 26. If he is able to stick at third he could be the third baseman of the future. 

Vital Statistics:

Born:   May 17, 1992. B-T: L-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 195

Drafted: Notre Dame, 2013 (1st round).
2013 GCL Stats(1 GM): BA/OBP/SLG/WOBA/WRC+                              .000/.333/.000/.260/61
2013 NYPL stats(51 GMs)                                                                           .266/.376/.451/.390/153


Jagielo was never considered a good high school prospect. The Chicago native was not ranked as one of the states best prospects, and was only selected in the 50th round by the Chicago Cubs. Instead of signing with the Cubs, he decided to go to Notre Dame and became a much better player there. Like Aaron Judge, Jagielo earned many accolades during college including:

2011 New England Collegiate Baseball League All-Star, 2012 Cape Cod League Post-Season All-League. In 2012 he achieved the following: 2012 Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star, 2012 Cape Cod League Home Run Derby participant, 2012 BIG EAST Second Team All-BIG EAST 2012 College Sports Madness First Team All-BIG EAST, 2012 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division I Second Team Mid-East All Region. 

Finally in 2013 he had biggest year earning the: 2013 Golden Spikes Award watch list, 2013 Preseason Baseball America Third Team All-American, 2013 Preseason Coaches First Team All-BIG EAST, 2013 Preseason Perfect Game First Team All-BIG EAST.

These honors made him a top rated draft prospect for the 2013 draft. Jagielo was rated as the 1 prospect in the Big East by Baseball America and Perfect game. His overall ranking ranged from 16(BA) to 49(MLB). The Yankees ended up taking him with the 26th pick which was coincidentally right where Keith Law had him ranked. 

Jagielo is new to third base as he only has played the position since 2012. Because of his size and inexperience at the position, some question his ability to stick at third. However, many scouts believe he can play there. The pick was praised throughout the industry as the Yankees simultaneously took the best player available and addressed a major need within their system.

2013 Performance:

A hamstring injury kept  Jagielo out for some time and limited him to the NYPL last year. Despite his injury he was able to make a strong impression in the NYPL. He began the year slowly but turned things around quickly in part due to advice taken from injured Yankee star Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez's gave his future replacement advice that helped him change his approach for the better. Jagielo's season placed him 6th on BA's NYPL top 20 list. With the recent struggles of past Yankee first round picks, Jagielo's strong start is a bigger deal than it should be.

Scouting Report:

Jagielo has worked hard to learn third base, and as of now many believe he will become an average defender. His main weakness on defense is his range, however he has a strong arm and quick instincts. Because of his range some questioned his long term future at third, and suggested that he may end up at first.

If he ever has to move to first, he has a good enough bat to make the switch. Jagielo should be able to hit for a good average and plus power, and has shown a good eye at the plate, throughout his college career. In his three years at Notre Dame his walkout and strike out numbers were almost identical. His strikeouts were high in NYPL, but this may be due to the break he took after being drafted and the fact that he was coming off of an injury. 


Jagielo's ceiling is a 20-25 homerun guy who hits for a high average and gets on base. A good comparison for Jagielo may be Matt Skole, who BA rated as the Nationals fourth best prospect. However Jagielo seems to have a better bat and doesn't have anyone blocking him at third base.

According to Keith Law, Jagielo has the ability to be "a 20-homer guy with mid-.300 OBPs who plays solid-average defense in a few years, which makes him an everyday guy who could make an All-Star Game or two. Because of his advanced plate approach, I could see him in pinstripes sometime in 2014, early 2015." ESPN's Christopher Crawford is also high on Jagielo and thinks he is polished enough to make the majors at some point in 2014 or early 2015.

2014 Level:

In a recent interview with Chad Jennings, Yankees executive Mark Newman said both Judge and Jagielo could start the year at High A Tampa. Because Jagielo is so polished and has seen game time he may be able to move up to Double-A Trenton after a hot start. 

This would help prevent a logjam of sorts, as Dante Bichette may be pushed to Tampa and Miguel Andujar may start the year in A-ball. Jagielo would need to a really strong showing to reach to reach the majors this year, but more realistically he will make it to the Bronx at the end of 2015.


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