Yankees select three players in first round of the MLB Draft
At No. 26, the Yankees took Notre Dame University junior third baseman Eric Jagielo, a junior who was the No. 16 overall prospect and fifth-best corner infielder in the draft according to Baseball America insider Jim Callis.
Jagielo, a lefty hitter who was also tabbed as the Yankees' pick at No. 26 in both Baseball America and ESPN's Keith Law's final mock drafts, was also a 50th-round pick of the Cubs out of high school in 2010. He burst onto the scene again in the 2012 Cape Cod Summer League, hitting .291 with 13 home runs and a .963 OPS, and he went on to hit .388 with a .500 on-base percentage, nine homers, and 53 RBIs for the Irish this spring.
"Jagielo is a physical, left-handed hitter with plus power; he performed well in Cape Cod, and shows a good combination of plate discipline and power," Yankees VP of Scouting Damon Oppenheimer said after the selection.
You can read more on Jagielo in River Avenue Blues' prospect profile.
At No. 32, the compensatory selection they received for losing Nick Swisher, the Yankees took Fresno State University junior outfielder Aaron Judge, who was also a 31st round selection of Oakland out of high school in 2010 and was projected to go No. 24 to Oakland this year in Callis' final mock draft.
A 6-foot-7, 255-pound right-handed center fielder who would match Frank Howard as the largest outfielder in MLB history, Judge won the College Home Run Derby in 2012 and then hit .369 with a team-leading 12 home runs, 36 RBIs and 12 steals for the Bulldogs this spring.
"Judge is a big man, and obviously a great-bodied athlete who has a high upside. He can run, and he has a good work ethic," Oppenheimer said.
Judge actually made his first trip ever to Yankee Stadium earlier Thursday, and he told MLB Network's Sam Ryan after being selected that it was an honor to be there and he looks forward to going back.
"It was unbelievable, there's so much history at that park, and to stand where legends have stood was amazing," Judge said. "Hopefully in a few years, I'll get to play there and hit some out."
Judge also said that being selected by the Yankees "gives me chills; it's quite an honor."
You can learn more about Judge courtesy of this in-depth profile from River Avenue Blues.
Finally, with the No. 33 pick they got for losing Rafael Soriano, the Yankees selected LHP Ian Clarkin from James Madison HS in San Diego, a 6-foot-2 southpaw who was ranked as the No. 17 overall prospect by Baseball America but was pegged by ESPN's Keith Law to the Yankees at No. 33 in his final mock draft.
Clarkin, who has committed to the University of San Diego if he doesn't sign, threw 73.1 innings for Madison High this spring, going 9-2 with a 0.95 ERA and striking out 133, utilizing a fastball clocked at 94 mph and a curveball that, according to MLB Network, was considered the best in all of high school baseball by many scouts.
""Clarkin has a combination of the things we were looking for. We think we got something special with him," Oppenheimer said.
He also made fast friends with Judge in his visit to Yankee Stadium Thursday, saying he hoped to maybe become roommates with him soon - but his selection may be bittersweet for the family - especially Clarkin's dad, a huge Diamondbacks fan whose favorite baseball moments was Arizona's walk-off win over the Yankees in the 2001 World Series.
"I didn't like the Yankees at first," he admitted, "but now I love them, and my dad's going to have to learn to love them."
And, like Jagielo and Judge, you can learn more about Clarkin in his Draft Profile, courtesy of River Avenue Blues.
Later Thursday night, the Yankees had the third-to-last selection of the second round, No. 66 overall, where they took Gosuke Katoh, a middle infielder from Rancho Bernardo HS in San Diego who is a strong defender and says he has modeled his swing after Ichiro Suzuki.
"We were excited to get this guy in the second round," said Oppenheimer. "On our scale, he's an excellent runner with great hand-eye coordination who can hit with some surprising power. He's a really good defender, and someone that excites us."
The Yankees will have the third-to-last pick in each of Rounds 3 through 40 on Friday and Saturday, and Oppenheimer was pleased with the team's haul on Day 1, saying "we think we had a great first day...I'm excited and the staff is excited."
This year, the deadline to sign draft picks, which has traditionally been August 15, has been moved up to July 13 at 4 p.m. CDT.
Other key notes from the first round of the MLB Draft: Stanford University RHP Mark Appel, who was the No. 9 overall pick by the Pirates last year, was taken No. 1 overall by the Houston Astros…the St. Louis Cardinals took local phenom LHP Rob Kaminsky (St. Joseph HS, Montvale, N.J.) at No. 28, making him the first high school player from Bergen County to ever be selected in the first round…the Mets used their first-round pick, No. 11 overall, on 1B Dominic Smith from Juniper Serra HS in San Mateo, CA…the first round contained three baseball legacies: University of North Carolina 3B Colin Moran (No. 6, Miami), who is the nephew of B.J. Surhoff, Lakewood (CA) HS shortstop J.P. Crawford, whose cousin is Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, and RHP Hunter Harvey from Bandys HS in Catawba, N.C., whose father is former MLB closer Bryan Harvey.
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