Jim Callis

Yanks' Jagielo to miss AFL after taking fastball to face

Former first-round Draft pick was hit by pitch during instructional league

Yanks' Jagielo to miss AFL after taking fastball to face

Eric Jagielo missed two months of his first full pro season with a strained oblique, so the Yankees planned to send him to the Arizona Fall League to make up for some lost at-bats. But that plan was scuttled when the third baseman was hit in the face by a pitch in an instructional league game Sunday.

Jagielo sustained a slight fracture in his zygomatic arch near his left eye, necessitating surgery that will sideline him for 4-6 weeks. While he'll miss the AFL season, Yankees director of player personnel John Kremer said that Jagielo shouldn't have any long-term effects from the beaning.

"He should be fine," Kremer said. "His vision is A-OK and we don't anticipate any lingering issues. He'll be back for Spring Training."

The first of New York's three first-round picks in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, the 22-year-old Jagielo hit .259/.354/.460 with 16 homers in 85 games at high Class A Tampa this season. His left-handed power is his best tool and perfectly suited for Yankee Stadium.

More from the Yankees' instructional league program:

● Youngsters Jorge Mateo and Luis Torrens have continued to impress after strong summers. A 19-year-old shortstop who was making a dazzling U.S. debut in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League this summer before a wrist injury sidelined him, Mateo is a speedster who has drawn some Jose Reyes comparisons.

"Mateo has really looked special," Kremer said. "He hit a ball out the other day and he has really looked good. His speed can impact the game, he has a plus arm and he's sure-handed. At shortstop, it just comes down to his ability to slow the game down. All the skills and ability are there."

Mateo signed for $250,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, while Torrens garnered a $1.3 million bonus out of Venezuela the same year. Torrens batted .270/.327/.405 as the youngest regular (at age 18) in the short-season New York-Penn League this summer, and also ranked third among NY-P catchers by throwing out 42 percent of basestealers.

"Torrens has been very good as well," Kremer said. "He really throws well. We've gotten him in 1.82, 1.85 seconds to second base. But it's his intelligence and maturity level that really stand out."

● Right-hander Luis Severino has lived up to his billing as the Yankees' top prospect. With a mid-90s fastball, a changeup and slider that could give him a pair of at least solid secondary pitches and advanced control for his age, he could develop into a frontline starter. He went 6-5, 2.46 in 24 starts between three levels this year, reaching Double-A at age 20 and posting a 127/27 K/BB ratio in 113 1/3 innings.

"He has really good feel," Kremer said. "He'll change his arm slot sometimes, not on purpose, and he's still able to get the ball over the plate. Whenever a guy has natural feel like that, it's a good sign."

● Right-handers Cale Coshow and Jonathan Holder are two lesser-known pitchers who have stood out in Tampa. Coshow, 22, was part of a banner Oklahoma recruiting class along with Jonathan Gray (Rockies) and Dillon Overton (Athletics) in 2010, but he barely pitched for the Sooners before transferring to Oklahoma Christian and signing for $100,000 as a 13th-round pick in 2013. After pitching just 15 1/3 innings this season because of shoulder issues, the massive 6-foot-5, 260-pounder has hit 97 mph during instructional league.

Holder was a reliever at Mississippi State before signing for $170,000 as a sixth-round pick in June, but the Yankees used him primarily as a starter in his pro debut and believe he can remain in the rotation. His command helps his 88-91 mph fastball play up, he maintains his velocity as a starter and he has added a cutter/slider in Tampa.

Jim Callis is a reporter for and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.