Notre Dame slugger Eric Jagielo had a big Thursday night. The Fighting Irish third baseman was selected with the 26th overall pick of the first round of the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft by the New York Yankees.
Jagielo was named the 2013 Big East Conference Player of the Year after leading the conference in slugging percentage (.633) and on-base percentage (.500). He was second in the league in batting average (.388) and tied for second with nine home runs. Jagielo was fifth in the Big East with 19 doubles and 53 RBIs. Three more hits in 2013 would have made him the 10th player in ND history to bat .400 in a season.
"I like the pick for the Yankees," said MLB Network analyst John Hart of Jagielo's selection. "Jagielo is also going to like it, because he's going to like that short right field porch over there. I certainly like the offense with Jagielo. I see him as an average hitter in the future. (He has) a six power (ranking). It could be more playing in Yankee Stadium."
Jagielo has hit 27 home runs with 124 RBIs in his three seasons at Notre Dame while turning-in a career .321 batting average. He was recently named one of 30 national semifinalists for the 2013 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. The award is presented annually to the nation's top amateur baseball player.
"He's a below average runner," Hart continued. "Fielding - I've got him below (average) now (but) I project him to average. This kid's got a good work ethic. (His) arm strength is solid. I've got him (as) a solid defender, not as explosive as some of the other guys, but I do like the power."
Jagielo is the first Notre Dame player to be selected in the first round since current Arizona Diamondback A.J. Pollock, who was tabbed with the 17th overall pick by the D-Backs in 2009. Notre Dame's only other first round draftees are Brad Lidge (18th overall by Houston in 1998) and Ken Plesha (17th overall by the White Sox in 1965).
"Nothing better than being surrounded by your best friends and family," Jagielo Tweeted shortly after his selection.
Jagielo was the fourth first baseman selected in the first round Thursday night. San Diego's Kris Brown, who leads the nation with 31 home runs this season, was the first third baseman picked when he went second overall to the Chicago Cubs. North Carolina's Colin Moran went seventh overall to the Miami Marlins and New Mexico's D.J. Peterson was drafted 12 by the Seattle Mariners. Slot money for the 26th pick is around $1.8 million.
The Downers Grove, Ill native was a 50th round draft pick by the Chicago Cubs coming out of high school in the 2010 draft. He was rated as the No. 1 MLB prospect in the Big East entering the 2013 season by both Perfect Game and Baseball America after hitting 13 home runs in the prestigious Cape Cod League last summer with the Harwich Mariners.