Thanks to losing Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano during free agency, the New York Yankees held three selections during the first round of Thursday’s 2013 MLB Draft. The Yankees strayed from their usual strategy of drafting high school players with top potential, instead opting for a pair of 21-year-old college players who could be in the Bronx in the next few years. With their third selection, the Yankees took a high potential left-handed pitcher out of a California high school.
#26 Overall: Eric Jagielo, 3B
The 21-year-old third baseman out of Notre Dame’s natural power and left-handed bat could have him pegged as a fast mover through the Yankees system. Just two years after the team took Dante Bichette in the first round, Jagielo becomes the team’s clear third baseman of the future, and his selection could be construed as an indictment on the team’s feelings about Alex Rodriguez.
Measuring at 6’3, 215 pounds, Jagielo has legitimate power from the left side of the plate. He could play as a 25-30 home run hitter when factoring in playing in Yankee Stadium. His biggest weakness comes on defense, as his glove is average at best at third base. Some have speculated that a move to first base or a corner outfield spot could be in order, but Jagielo reportedly has grown more comfortable at the position during the 2013 season.
#32 Overall: Aaron Judge, OF
With their second pick in the first round, the Yankees selected another player with enough raw power to hit 30 home runs at the next level. Despite his raw power, Judge could be a risk for 150 strikeouts per season according to ESPN Scouts Inc. A college center fielder, Judge profiles as a right fielder at the big league level, with a strong arm and good mobility.
The most impressive thing about Judge might be his size. Standing at 6-foot-7, 255 pounds, Judge would be the tallest outfielder in major league history should he make it to the show someday. However, Judge has a long way to go before thinking about the major leagues, as he is considered as an extreme developmental prospect. He was formerly a 31st round pick of the Oakland Athletics.
#33 Overall: Ian Clarkin, LHP
The Yankees’ third selection of the first round, the Yankees will have to break Clarkin’s commitment to his hometown college, the University of San Diego. Clarkin has a unique pitching motion that features a high leg kick and uses a ton of energy, comparable to Tim Lincecum. The good news for the Yankees is Clarkin is a bit bigger than Lincecum, standing 6-foor-2, 190 pounds.
Clarkin was a bit inconsistent during his senior season, but when he is on, he is truly one of the best high school pitchers in the country. Clarkin features a fastball that ranges from 90-93 MPH and has touched 94, as well as a potential plus-plus breaking ball that comes in around 73-75. That differential makes the pitch appear unhittable. The 18-year-old also throws a changeup, but it does not look to be anything more than average at this point.
Dan is usedview.com’s beat writer for the New York Yankees and the Trenton Thunder. Follow him on Twitter at @danpfeiffer74 for all the latest New York Yankees news.