Sorry for the lack of draft coverage so far, but trust me that I will have a ton of stuff written up tonight and through the weekend. So check back often.
The Yankees had three first round draft picks this year thanks to the departures of Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano. They also have $7,957,400 to spend on the draft which is the eighth most in baseball.
1st Round, 26th Overall: Eric Jagielo, 3B, Notre Dame, Pick value: $1,839,400, BA pre-draft rank: 17.
Jagielo has hit .388/.500/.633 in 56 games at Notre Dame this season.
John Sickels’ report: Left-handed power from a 6-3, 215 pound body makes Jagielo an elite hitter in the college ranks and should carry forward to pro ball. Sharper plate discipline and defense have boosted his stock, but even teams that see him as a first baseman long-term respect his bat. He mashed .388/.500/.633 this spring with 35 walks and 33 strikeouts in 196 at-bats. Jagielo has been linked to the Yankees for awhile, so this isn’t a huge surprise. The Yankees are among the teams that believe he can stay at third base.
Baseball America’s report: Jagielo went 15 picks from the bottom of the 2010 draft out of high school in Illinois, and he should go roughly that far from the top this year. He combines the ability to hit for power and average like few players available. He finished second in the Cape Cod League last summer with 13 homers, showing pop to all fields as the ball exploded off his left handed bat. The knocks on Jagielo were a tendency to chase pitches and questionable defense at third base, but the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder has addressed both this spring. He has shown more discipline, made more contact and done a better job of using the whole field. He now projects to hit for a solid average with at least plus power. While he’s a below-average runner and his agility and reactions still need improvement, scouts believe Jagielo will be able to stick at the hot corner. His actions, hands and arm all are fine for the position. He played all four corner positions for the Fighting Irish, not becoming a full-time third baseman until mid-2012. Jagielo has a chance to surpass Ken Plesha (17th overall in 1965) and A.J. Pollock (ditto in 2009) as the highest-drafted position players in Notre Dame history.
My take: The Yankees almost never take college aged position players with their first round picks. They also don’t produce big middle of the order bats. They are hoping that by changing their trend on the former they can on the latter as well with this pick. I like it as we should now have another big bat to watch in the system.
Photo via BigEast.org.