Following an excellent three years at Notre Dame, the Yankees took Eric Jagielo with the 26th overall pick in the 2013 draft. He started off his pro career with the Staten Island Yankees, where he hit a powerful .266/.376/.451 in 51 games. Jagielo's pro debut was impressive, but dominance was somewhat expected from a college bat in the New York Penn League.
Jagielo made the jump to High-A Tampa last year, and continued hitting for power. The 22-year-old slugged .259/.354/.460 around an oblique injury that kept him out of action for six weeks. There was plenty to like about Jagielo's 2014 season. Not only did he hit for an impressive amount of power, but he also maintained a healthy walk rate. Still, there were some red flags. Most notably, he struggled to make consistent contact, striking out a concerning 26% of the time. His defense at third was also pretty spotty as evidenced by his 17 errors in 68 games.
KATOH -- my prospect projection system -- is very down on Jagielo, giving him just a 36% chance of cracking the big leagues by age 28. This low rating has less to do with his statistical performance -- he put up a strong .814 OPS -- but more to do with his age relative to level. Jagielo was 22 last year, which isn't particularly young for A-ball. A player that old and that far away from the majors really needs to dominate to be embraced by KATOH. It also doesn't help that he didn't attempt to steal a single base last season. Stolen base attempts tend to correlate pretty well with a player's defensive skills, which leads KATOH to believe that Jagielo won't offer a heck of a lot on defense. Here's a look at Jagielo's odds of reaching certain WAR thresholds through age 28:
Jagielo has plenty of power, but is otherwise a little rough around the edges, especially for a first round pick out of college. He still has time to figure things out, but it's a little disappointing that he didn't dominate A-ball more than he did. It was less than two years ago that Jagielo was a first round pick out of Notre Dame, but he's already starting to look like a future bench bat or platoon player, especially if he ends up having to move to first base. Still, although Jagielo's prospect stock is trending slightly downward, he could easily buck that trend by belting 30+ homers in Double-A Trenton this year.