Who is Jared Wegner, the Yankees prospect with 117 mph heat off the bat?

Yankees prospect Jared Wegner is hitting a homer for the Somerset Patriots on April 29, 2024

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Despite not being among the most highly-touted prospects within the Yankees organization, outfielder Jared Wegner‘s performance on the baseball diamond this season with Double-A Somerset has been nothing short of remarkable, catapulting him into the limelight of Minor League Baseball (MiLB).

Jared Wegner has demonstrated exceptional hitting ability, blasting home runs with exit velocities of 116 mph and 117 mph during the early stages of the regular season, cementing his status as an elite hitter.

When comparing his numbers to those of MLB players this year, the 24-year-old finds himself in prestigious company, rubbing shoulders with sluggers, such as Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. Astonishingly, only Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have gone hitting beyond 116 mph in 2024.

This remarkable exit velocity is not a new phenomenon for Jared Wegner, a 6-foot, 220-pound powerhouse hailing from Kearney, Nebraska. According to Baseball America’s scouting report, he was ranked among the hardest hitters in the country in 2023.

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According to Jared Wegner, his natural athleticism flourished during his college years and offseason workouts, enabling his physical development through a rigorous training regimen that helped him attain agility, quick reflexes, superior strength, and explosive movements.

Jared Wegner’s impressive performance at the plate extends beyond his powerful hits. He currently holds a batting average of .254 with an .820 OPS, three home runs, 11 RBIs, and 11 runs scored. Prior to being held hitless in a loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Thursday night, the Yankees prospect had been riding a 13-game hitting streak.

Who is Jared Wegner?

The New York Yankees selected outfielder Jared Wegner in the ninth round of the 2023 MLB Draft. As a graduate transfer student with a limited draft pedigree, the player opted to sign with the Yankees for $72,000, which was below the assigned slot value of $173,000 for his draft position. This signing officially marked his transition from a college athlete to a professional baseball player.

Jared Wegner’s journey to professional baseball was unconventional. After a successful tenure at Creighton University, he moved to the University of Arkansas for his final season of eligibility. Although injuries curtailed his time at Arkansas, Jared Wegner made a strong impression in the 42 games he played, posting a commendable batting average of .313 with an on-base percentage of .457 and a slugging percentage of .674. Even when confronted with the heightened competition in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), his numbers remained respectable, maintaining a line of .245/.403/.491.

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Despite being selected late in the 9th round as the 282nd overall pick, Jared Wegner’s impact at Arkansas was undeniable. He showcased a remarkable OPS exceeding 1.100, belting 15 home runs and driving in 51 runs in just those 42 games. It is noteworthy that these accomplishments were achieved despite missing time due to a thumb injury.

Jared Wegner’s progress is a testament to his unwavering determination and perseverance. After going undrafted in 2022 following his senior year at Creighton, he remained resolute in his desire to prove his doubters wrong. Seizing the opportunity afforded by an additional year of college eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he embraced the challenge of competing in the highly competitive SEC. This move compelled Jared Wegner to elevate his game against some of the most talented collegiate baseball players in the country.

Reflecting on his journey, Jared Wegner acknowledged the initial disappointment of going undrafted. However, he quickly redirected his focus and utilized his final year to showcase his abilities. The Yankees prospect attributes his success at Arkansas to his unwavering work ethic, dedicating countless hours in the batting cage refining his skills and constantly striving for improvement.

The Yankees prospect’s playing style overwhelmingly focuses on strength, integrity, and keeping a positive attitude, even when faced with adversity. The rookie credits much of his offensive success to his physical strength and his ability to excel in the batter’s box. Jared Wegner tends to adopt a passive stance at the plate, rather than taking advantage of opportunities to attack pitches early in the count.

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Jared Wegner’s performance in his first full season of professional baseball against Double-A pitching highlights his offensive abilities and potential. However, like any prospect, there’s always room for improvement and refinement.

According to Somerset hitting coach Kevin Martir, Jared Wegner’s development depends on several key factors. Martir emphasized the importance of the Yankees prospect refining his swing decisions, approach, and early-count aggressiveness.

Jared Wegner simplifies his approach by focusing on timing and capitalizing on favorable pitches. While he recognizes his ability to hit the ball hard, he aims to improve his consistency in doing so, particularly in elevating the ball more frequently. Enhancing his defensive skills is also a priority for the Yankees prospect, acknowledging that his defensive abilities have been a point of concern since his college days. Given his limited speed, Jared Wegner places greater emphasis on his offensive prowess.

Despite the challenges posed by the Yankees’ crowded outfield and the emergence of top prospects like Jasson Domínguez and Spencer Jones, Jared Wegner remains focused on his personal growth and development as a player. He strives to avoid dwelling on external opinions and instead prioritizes maximizing his potential. The Yankees prospect’s primary goal is to continually evolve and improve his performance, aspiring to reach his peak level of play as quickly as possible.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

One thought on “Who is Jared Wegner, the Yankees prospect with 117 mph heat off the bat?

  1. Drafting college seniors, signing below market value is the team’s goal. Where can these guys go? Accept it or don’t play. Shame on teams being allowed to do that.

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