Eric Jagielo was acquired by the Cincinnati Reds in the trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to the New York Yankees over the winter. The third baseman was coming off of a season where he missed he second half with a knee injury (he had loose bodies removed).
At the time of the injury the former 1st round pick was hitting .284/.347/.495 for the Double-A Trenton Thunder in the Eastern League. The 23-year-old was having the best offensive season of his career at that point with his .842 OPS.
The bat is likely what got him mentioned in the latest MLB Pipeline Top 10 Third Base prospects list. No one has ever doubted the bat though, as he’s pretty much hit everywhere that he has ever been.
It was likely the glove work that kept Jagielo from ranking as one of the top 10 third base prospects and left him as the next guy mentioned after the list. In his debut season he posted a .971 fielding percentage in 46 games. In the two years since then things have taken a big turn for the worse though. In 2014 he posted an .892 fielding percentage in 68 games. That was followed up with an .883 fielding percentage in 39 games for Trenton in 2015.
The Reds have a big opening at third base right now. While their current plan is to play Eugenio Suarez at third base for 2016, he’s not your prototypical third baseman and profiles much better as a middle infielder (whether that’s at second or at shortstop). Jagielo has the kind of bat that every team wants to see at third base. There’s good power in there and he should hit for enough average to let the bat play on an every day basis. Getting the glove to an acceptable level will be one of the biggest things to keep an eye on in the entire system for the Reds in 2016. If Eric Jagielo can get his fielding percentage into the mid .900’s it would be a huge step for him and a big boost overall for the system as a whole.