Yankees take Notre Dame 3B Eric Jagielo 26th overall in MLB Draft
SEATTLE — For the first time in six years, the Yankees used their top selection in the First-Year Player Draft on a collegiate pick, calling the name of Notre Dame third baseman Eric Jagielo 26th overall on Thursday.
A left-handed hitter with power, Jagielo boosted his Draft stock this summer when he hit 13 home runs in the Cape Cod League, ranking second in the summer circuit. The 2013 Big East Player of the Year, the 21-year-old has been solid defensively at the hot corner, though there has been speculation that he could project better as a corner outfielder in the future.
Jagielo was also named as a semifinalist for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award this year. He batted .388 and hit nine home runs in 56 games for Notre Dame during his junior year, leading the league in slugging percentage (.633) and on-base percentage (.500).
Jagielo’s selection marks the first time that the Yankees have used their top Draft choice on a college player since 2007, when they took pitcher Andrew Brackman. This is the first time they’ve used their first choice on a college position player since 2001, when outfielder Jon-Ford Griffin was taken.
The Yankees had two additional picks in the first round, their most first-round selections since ’01.
With the 32nd pick, the Yankees selected outfielder Aaron Judge from Fresno State University. The 6-foot-7, 255-pound Judge has shown power to all fields and was previously selected by the Athletics in the 31st round out of high school in 2010.
Judge, 21, batted .369 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs in 56 games for the Bulldogs this year, posting a .655 slugging percentage and a .461 on-base percentage. Judge was at Yankee Stadium along with several other potential Draft picks on Thursday, and said he was scoping out the short right field porch.
“We were just talking about how short it was, so hopefully I’ll get to play there and hit some out,” Judge said.
On being drafted by the Yankees, Judge said that it “gives me the chills. It’s quite the honor and I’m just blessed to be here with my parents.”
With the 33rd and final selection of the first round, the Yankees selected left-hander Ian Clarkin from James Madison High School in San Diego.
A projectable hurler who has dazzled scouts with his curveball and was 9-2 with a 0.95 ERA this year, Clarkin throws his fastball in the low 90s. He named Jonathan Papelbon as a role model and said his favorite baseball memory was watching the D-backs defeat the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.
“I could not stand the Yankees because I was actually in tears, I was so happy,” Clarkin said in a pre-Draft interview.
After hearing the Yankees call his name, however, Clarkin – who is committed to the University of San Diego – said he would change his tune.
“Now I do love them, and my dad’s going to have to learn to love them too,” said Clarkin, who struck out 133 batters in 73 1/3 prep innings. “They’re the most historic organization and I am looking forward to it. There’s proof in the pudding and I’m excited for it.”
New York obtained the No. 32 pick from the Indians as compensation for the free-agency departure of outfielder Nick Swisher and acquired the No. 33 pick from the Nationals as compensation for losing reliever Rafael Soriano.
New York is also slated to make one second-round selection on Day 1 of the Draft, owning the 66th overall pick. The Yankees will have $7,957,400 in Draft pool money to sign their 12 picks in the top 10 rounds, a dollar figure that ranks as the eighth most in baseball.