2013 First Round Picks
This year the Yankees sported three first round picks thanks to qualifying offers made to Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano, who both left for longer and more lucrative commitments. First taken in the draft was Eric Jagielo, who some were surprised fell so low followed by the towering Aaron Judge and southpaw Ian Clarkin. Overall the Yanks had a pretty strong draft…and hey, they drafted a kid named Ty Webb! For those of you who don’t get the reference, shame on you. Today we’ll take a quick look at our first three picks, starting at the top.
Eric raked in the fifth highest bonus handed out to a draftee at 1.8394M, which was right at slot money. A former Notre Dame third baseman, he stands in at 6’3″, 215 lbs and hits from the left side. In his three years at ND, Eric hit .321, slugged .432 and hit 27 home runs. He’s also proven he can handle the wood bats, as he went deep 13 times in the Cape Cod league, walking away with the MVP. In the box Jagielo has quick hands that allow him to get in on the inside pitch. His swing is built for power, with good loft and backspin, but could lead to him making less contact. His coach from ND praised him as the most talented hitters he’s ever seen, now keep in mind Eric is only the third position player drafted from his school, but it has been noted that he is disciplined at the plate and could see an OBP in the mid 3’s. His defense at the hot corner isn’t exactly inspiring; think a fringy defender with limited range. In the event that he is unable to remain at the hot corner, his bat could carry him over to first. He’s not by any means a speedster, but he isn’t bad on the bases and his arm is quite enough to get the job done but isn’t amazing, which would have been a bonus. At 21 years old and having some college experience behind him, he should be able to move quickly which is something the Yankees could use in the near future with the Ow My Hip Alex spending less and less time on the field. If he manages to put in the work and make the adjustments he’ll need to make, he could be getting a cup of joe next September. That’s on the aggressive side, but possible.
Jagielo has begun his Yankee career in the minor league system, first starting in rookie ball for a single game and then on to Charleston. In 52 plate appearances he’s both walked and struck out five times, good for a 9.6%. *small sample noted With his profile i’ll take all the walks I can get. His slash line is at .364/.462/.477, but this is riding a torrid .395 babip. For the Fangraphs friendly fans, it adds up to a .446wOBA, 187wRC+. Pretty great start so far, but without batted ball profiles it’s hard to say how much he’ll fall off when when “luck” runs out and regression sets in. If he does continue to tear it up he’ll be in Tampa by years end.
Aaron Judge is huge. Really huge. At 6’7″ 255lbs. there’s something like a handful of guys near his size ever to play the OF; he’ll be the second tallest ever. Previously drafted by Oakland, Aaron opted to attend Fresno State where in his junior year he hit .369 with 12 HR’s, 36 RBI’s and 12 stolen bases. Judge is athletic considering his size, and while he has been playing center, will probably profile more as a right fielder due to his strong and accurate arm. He has to rely on his athleticism as his routes nor his first step are much to speak of. RF in Yankee Stadium is a perfect fit for a guy like him. For a guy his size you would expect big power, and he has it but only in batting practice. His swing doesn’t give him enough loft to get out of the park, but he’ll hit a lot of line drives. His swing is not without its warts for sure. For one his size makes for a lot of long moving parts and makes it difficult for him to repeat his swing consistently. He has some issues with pitch recognition, making him susceptible to breaking and offspeed stuff. Overall he has tons of power that could be tapped in to with a respectable average to back it up. Judge was the last to sign, and pulled off an above slot bonus of 1.8M. Both he and Clarkin have yet to start in the minors yet as they both came up injured (surprised?) before they got rolling.
Ian Clarkin does not hate the Yankees. Apparently. I still haven’t read the actual story about all that, and damn does that feel good. As soon as I heard the ruckus I filed it away in the don’t give a spit bin and moved on, which leads us to our third pick, courtesy of #untuck. Clarkin is the baby of the group as a HS senior out of Madison High School in San Diego. The southpaw measures up at 6’2″ and runs his fastball in the low to mid 90’s on a downward plane. His butter pitch is his curveball, which was talked about as the best of all HS pitchers in the 2013 draft and could be a plus plus offering at the ML level. His changeup is a work in progress, sitting around 78 but could be average or better. Baseball America had him going quite a bit higher at 17th, and Keith Law had him as the second best HS lefty in the draft. It seems as there were some signability questions, but he who hates the Yankees signed for 1.65M, right at slot. Ian’s greatest hurdle will be to turn his show me change into a real pitch he can go to when he doesn’t have one of his primary pitches. If he gets caught without his big bad curveball he’s going to need another offering to keep hitters off of number one. I suppose at worst you have a late inning reliever with a filthy strikeout pitch, at best he’s a number two if he’s got a handle on all three pitches and can command the zone. At 18 there’s always room to add a tick or two to that fastball and so long as he’s still commanding it it only makes him that much stronger. Another victim to the injury plague throughout Yankeeland, Clarkin has yet to get into a game. There is one player I will mention who is alive and pitching, and that’s Ty Webb…na na na na na na na na na na na na na na. Be the ball.