By Ryan Kraut
Growing up, just about every little boy dreams of one day being drafted by a Major League Baseball team. For LIU Post closer Dan Jagiello, that dream became a reality. In Round 34 of the 2017 MLB Draft, the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Jagiello, with pick number 1,030. “Being drafted was definitely a dream come true,” Jagiello said. “Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been wanting to play professional baseball. Hearing and seeing my name on the draft board was definitely a surreal feeling.”
Jagiello had a fine season for LIU Post last year. He finished the season with a 1-3 record, a 1.93 ERA and 12 saves in 23.1 innings pitched. He impressed scouts with his repertoire of pitches. “Dan’s best pitch is his fastball. It was electric,” Pioneers catcher Anthony Vaglica said. “Jagiello also possesses a changeup and a slider which makes him a very effective relief pitcher.”
Jagiello attributes a lot of his success to his coach at LIU, Mike Gaffney. Coach Gaffney worked closely with Jagiello since he arrived at Post in 2016. “Coach Gaffney was very supportive during the whole process,” Jagiello said. “I know he was talking to scouts for me to put in a good word for me.”The transition from college ball to pro ball hasn’t been easy, Jagiello said. The overall talent of the hitters skyrockets the second you sign your professional contract. “You can tell that the hitters are better overall,” Jagiello said. “Transitioning onto a new team is always different but everyone in the Dodger organization was very welcoming and made the transition easier. They also helped with how to attack batters and throw different pitches.”
It is one thing to be drafted, but not everyone who is drafted gets signed to a contract. That cannot be said for Jagiello, who immediately after being drafted, signed with the Dodgers and began his journey to the major leagues. “I started off in rookie ball in Arizona with the AZL Dodgers,” Jagiello said. “Then I got moved up to Low A in Midland, Michigan with the Great Lakes Loons.” In the four months since being drafted, Jagiello is 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 25.1 innings. He has registered three saves in his first four attempts.
Being drafted by the Dodgers, one of the most storied franchises in major league history, is something that Jagiello does not take lightly. The Dodgers organization has included legends such as Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax and, Clayton Kershaw. “I’m very proud to be a Dodger. Everyone in this organization is very proud to be part of such rich history,” Jagiello said. He will continue his journey to the MLB in April, when the 2018 season begins. He will begin the season as a member of the Low-A Great Lake Loons of the Midwest League.