The Yankees' 2013 1st round draft picks held a conference call with the media yesterday, and while almost every beat writer tripped over himself and each other trying to keep the "Ian Clarkin doesn't like the Yankees" theme going, I found what Eric Jagielo had to say much more newsworthy:
“I definitely see an opportunity. That was the biggest thing, hoping I would be drafted by some team that I can see myself in the future at the big-league level at third base. With everything I've read, there’s not much (standing in the way)."
That may sound cocky to some, and maybe it is to a certain degree. It's also 100% right and it's exactly what I want to hear Jagielo saying. And no, it has nothing to do with Alex Rodriguez, another idiotic non-story that the MSM beat into the ground on Thursday night.
Jagielo isn't ready to play third base for the Yankees right now, so he doesn't offer an immediate solution to their A-Rod problem. What he does offer is a more realistic future replacement option than anybody else in the system. The Yankees are embarrassingly light on third base prospects, mainly because Dante Bichette, Jr. hasn't panned out at all. He's hitting .220/.287/.316 in Low-A ball this year. In his SECOND season at that level. His BB and K rates have gotten worse from last year to this year. The only other name you could throw into the ring as a possible internal replacement for A-Rod is David Adams, and his early Major League numbers don't scream "future All Star."
The rest of the Yankee MiL road is paved with organizational filler and guys who can play third, but not play it well. There couldn't be an easier path up the ladder for Jagielo if he wanted there to be. And I like that he noticed it and called it out, because it shows he did some research on the Yankees and their system either before or after he got drafted and it also makes it seem like he'll be more likely to sign and want to play here because of this situation.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think A-Rod is capable of playing third base more than a day or 2 a week anymore, and that probably won't last much longer when he does return to the field. If he signs, Jagielo immediately becomes the next in line behind A-Rod, not because A-Rod sucks or cheated or any of that crap, but because there isn't anybody else around who's shown they can do that job. Jagielo making the statement he made yesterday tells me that he thinks he can do the job and that he WANTS to do that job. I'll take a guy like that on my team any day of the week.