Scouting Yankees Prospect #8: Eric Jagielo

The Yankees selected third baseman Eric Jagielo in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of the University of Notre Dame. Known for his advanced bat and high offensive ceiling, the Yankees had always believed they landed themselves a potential future impact player and he's been showing that potential recently.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Eric Jagielo
Position: Third Base
DOB: May 17, 1992
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 195
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

Batting and Power. Even when he was hitting just .259 through his first 525 professional at-bats over his first two seasons Jagielo had always shown the requisite skills to be a good hitter for average; plus bat speed, advanced patience and pitch recognition, consistent swing mechanics, and an ability to not only hit the elite fastballs but the better offspeed pitches too. Thrown in a knack for taking what the pitchers give him and use the opposite field better than most, he has the foundation in place to be a high-average hitter. He shows above average or better long-term power potential too, especially to the pull-side where it can play at a plus level.

Base Running and Speed. He's a slugger and therefore doesn't have impact running abilities, not enough to be a viable stolen base threat, but he is a bit more agile than most corner guys so he can be a serviceable station to station runner.

Defense. There isn't a whole lot of 'now' tools or even long-term projection to Jagielo's defensive game. He shows okay range and hands, and merely average arm strength, the kind of tool package that makes him an adequate at best defender at third base. Boasting a tremendous work ethic and good baseball instincts, he has the ability to gain more experience and smooth out the rough edges but it most likely won't be enough to make him an impact defensive player at third down the road. He shows enough foot speed that left field and/or first base could be viable options for him should the Yankees decide to go that route but he most likely wouldn't stand out with the glove in those spots either.

Projection. It's not out of the realm of possibility that Jagielo could develop himself into an average defensive player at the big league level someday but he is what he is and that's an impact offensive player with his natural hitting ability and long-term above average or better power potential, the kind of bat that will eventually find a home somewhere in the heart of a big league order regardless of position. His propensity to hit the balls to the opposite field with regularity from the left side conjures up images of a young Adrian Gonzalez or Alex Gordon type hitter, and his offensive ceiling lies somewhere in between the two.

ETA. 2016. With not much defensive ceiling to his game, his glove won't hold him back and Jagielo's bat is what is going to get him to the big league sooner rather than later. There is a very good chance that the bat will be big league ready by some point next season.

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