New York Yankees Vice President of Domestic Amateur Scouting, Damon Oppenheimer, Selected Eric Wagaman with the 392nd overall selection in the 13th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Baseball America ranked Wagaman as the 24th best first baseman in the nation that is draft eligible.
Wagaman joined the Yankees organization back in June, as he elected to sign a professional contract and forgo his collegiate commitment to the University of Houston.
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).
The 13th round selection slashed .264/.331/.392 with five home runs, 12 doubles, and five home runs for the Pulaski Yankees (Rookie).
Shows an advanced, intelligent approach and tremendous baseball acumen. He is patient, has a good eye, and gets a good pitch to hit. Has excellent 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.”
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 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 third-best first basemen.
The newly turned 20-year old has work to do defensively to make a significant impact in the organization but the bat projects promising things.
Click here to view a full scouting report on Eric.
The outlook for Wagaman is cloudy, thanks in large part to a log-jam at first base in the lower levels in the minor leagues. With Dermis Garcia expected to start at first in Charleston (Single-A), Chris Gittens in Tampa (Single-A – Advanced), and Carlos Tatis in Pulaski (Rookie), I expect Wagaman to earn a promotion from last season by beginning 2018 in Staten Island (Single-A – Short Season) after Extended Spring Training.