With their first pick in this year’s draft (#26 overall), the Yankees selected Notre Dame 3B Eric Jagielo. Here’s my write-up on him. Earlier today we heard New York was seeking a college bat with their top pick, and that’s exactly what they got.
The 2013 amateur draft will be held from June 6-8 this year, and between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Eric Jagielo | 3B
Following an impressive prep career at Downers Grove North High School in the Chicago suburbs, Jagielo was a 50th round pick of the Cubs in the 2010 draft. He didn’t sign and instead followed through on his commitment to Notre Dame, where he’s hit .400/.508/.676 with eight homers this spring after putting up a .291/.379/.486 batting line during his first two years with the Fighting Irish.
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 215 lbs., Jagielo fits the Yankees mold of power and patience from the left side of the plate. He has power to all fields but does the most damage when he pulls the ball to right field, and he’s able to tap into that power because he has a plan at the plate and command of the strike zone. There is some concern about his ability to hit at the upper levels of pro ball because he has a loopy swing and can be beat with good fastballs up in the zone.
Jagielo has played all over the field for Notre Dame in his career — both infield and outfield — but he has settled in at third base and has the quickness, hands, and arm to remain there long-term. A corner outfield spot would be the next logical spot should the hot corner not work out. He’s not terribly fast and won’t be a threat on the bases. Jagielo draws high marks for his work ethic and has been successful everywhere he’s played. There are plenty more videos available on YouTube.
Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America (subs. req’d) ranked Jagielo as the 35th and 40th best prospect in the draft, respectively, in their latest rankings. That puts him firmly in the late-first round/sandwich round mix at the moment, which is right where the Yankees have their first three picks (26th, 32nd, 33rd). It wasn’t until last summer that Scouting Damon Oppenheimer drafted a college bat in the top two rounds of the draft, and that was a college senior (catcher Peter O’Brien) in a draft pool saving maneuver. The Yankees tend to go for athleticism and upside at an up-the-middle position early, which doesn’t really describe Jagielo. Then again, special assistant Jim Hendry did draft him while still working as Cubs GM three years ago. Maybe the team will change course this summer because of all the extra picks.