Player: Eric Wagaman
Age: 19, August 14, 1997
Affiliate: Pulaski Yankees (Rookie)
Role: Average everyday player on a championship caliber club
Risk Factor: High
MLB ETA: 2022
Shows an advanced, intelligent approach and tremendous baseball acumen. This example was provided by Pulaski Yankees manager Luis Dorante. “He can get jammed one at bat, but the next time he’s (going to make the adjustment) and get the bat head out in front”.
Hit – Grades very high. He is patient, has a good eye, and gets a good pitch to hit. Has great plate coverage, thanks in part to standing very close to the plate. Even though he sets up on top of the plate, Eric has shown that he can pull the ball when pitchers come inside. He hits high pitches as well as low ones. Wagaman’s bat speed is as Dorante describes, “off the charts”. His manager continued to say that he “impacts the fastball and not just hits it, but hits it hard”.
Power – Wagaman generates his power from his aforementioned elite bat speed. He is very tall and has a lean body type so once he works with the Yankees strength guys and fills out, he will develop even more power.
Speed/Baserunning – Has below average speed but is a smart runner on the basepaths.
Glove – Average to slightly above average. By no means a liability but doesn’t have the hands or range to be an elite defender.
Arm – For a first basemen, his arm grades exactly what you would expect. Not overpowering but can make all the routine plays with firm accurate throws.
New York Yankees Vice President of Domestic Amateur Scouting, Damon Oppenheimer, may have gotten a steal by selecting Eric Wagaman with the 392nd overall selection in 13th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
This past season for the Orange Coast College Pirates, Eric hit at a .332/.404/.636 slash line, leading the team in slugging percentage. He jacked a team-high 14 home runs, drove in a team-leading 49 RBI’s and struck out just three more times (25) than he walked (22).
Baseball America ranked Wagaman as the 24th best first baseman in the nation that was draft eligible in 2017.
Look for Eric to earn a promotion within the next week or two, advancing to Staten Island (Class A – Sort Season) by mid-July. His baseball skill set is way more advanced than his current teammates.
I ultimately see Wagaman making the Major Leagues, with his ceiling being an average everyday player on a championship caliber club. I think his power will absolutely play up in Yankee Stadium. He will be better than Tyler Austin, and hit for more power but have a lower average than a healthy Greg Bird. Bird is a superior defender as well. Right now I would rank him as the organization’s second best first basemen.