Finding comps for prospects: Eric Jagielo

Derek and I ranked third base prospect Eric Jagielo as our #2 prospect this offseason and gave him an anticipated MLB ETA of 2016. Here’s what we had to say about him:

This season’s first-round pick made a nice debut at Short-Season Staten Island, posting a 153 wRC+ in 218 plate appearances. As a polished college bat out of Notre Dame, Jagielo could move quickly and beat our 2016 ETA.

Using only Jagielo’s 2013 stat line, I compiled a list of comps — players who put up similar numbers (BB%, K%, and ISO) in the New York Penn league at a similar age.

This analysis cuts right to the bottom line — it considers what a player did in his most recent year and churns out a list of players who performed similarly. There are some obvious limitations to this approach. For one thing, it only considers a hitter’s offensive performance and completely ignores defensive position and ability, so some of the comps will have very different defensive profiles. Additionally, this analysis only considers 2013 stats and does not take into account a player’s performance from previous seasons. Finally, in no way does it take into account things like scouting reports, which provide insight into a player’s future performance. Still, this gives us some living, breathing examples of players with similar offensive track records and hopefully gives us an idea of some possible career trajectories.

For reference, a third baseman with average defense who posts a 100 wRC+ is worth about 2.5 WAR over a full season — good enough to be a starter, but not a star. The more similar comps are at the top of the list:

Player PA’s Triple Slash wRC+
David Washington* 0 N/A N/A
Dalvis Martinez 0 N/A N/A
Norm Siriveaw 0 N/A N/A
Wander Ramos* 0 N/A N/A
Joe Vellegia* 0 N/A N/A
Fletcher Bates 0 N/A N/A
Michael McCormick 0 N/A N/A
Eric Hinske 1,387 .249/.332/.430 99
Brandon Barnes* 550 .233/.282/.330 69
Jared Sandberg 706 .221/.297/.406 84

*Active with at least a reasonable chance of  playing in the majors some time in the future

Although he posted a healthy 153 wRC+ last year, Jagielo did strikeout a lot for a  21-year-old short season ball. As a 2013 draft pick, Jagielo logged just 218 PA’s last year and the New York Penn league is several steps away from the majors, so the comps on this list may not tell us all that much about Jagielo’s future. Still, the lack of major league players on this list is pretty depressing. We’ll have a better idea of his career trajectory after a full season of games this year. Davenport is also pessimistic on Jagielo, but PECOTA likens him to a couple of promising, young third basemen.

Davenport:

Ryan Gripp: (career minor leaguer)

Matt Clark: (plays in Japan)

Hector Zamora: (career minor leaguer)

Kip Rogendorf: (career minor leaguer)

PECOTA:

Mike Olt: (17 wRC+, 40 PA’s)

Jedd Gyorko: (110 wRC+)

Jesus Guzman: (109 wRC+)

About Chris

Chris works in economic development by day, but spends most of his nights either watching or thinking about baseball. He's also an occasional user of the twitter machine: @_chris_mitchell
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