Daniel Eagen develops into a MLB draft prospect

Daniel Eagen understood that all he needed was a single opportunity to showcase his abilities. Despite receiving limited recruiting attention from college baseball programs as a high school student in North Carolina, he was offered a scholarship from Presbyterian and walk-on opportunities from Winthrop and High Point.

Driven by his desire to play immediately and to feel valued, Eagen diligently sought a place where he could thrive. Presbyterian emerged as the perfect fit and has since validated his decision.

The right-handed pitcher has experienced remarkable growth at Presbyterian, evolving into one of the nation’s premier pitchers. His role as Presbyterian’s ace has positioned him for a promising career in professional baseball. Scouts have noticed Eagen’s potential and are closely monitoring him in anticipation of July’s MLB draft.

“I took the chance and wanted to bet on myself,” Eagen said. “I wanted to go somewhere where they appreciated me and could prove it to everyone else that I’m better than what everyone else thought I was.”

Presbyterian College is the smallest university at the Division I level, with approximately 1,200 students. The baseball program has made one NCAA Tournament appearance and produced six MLB draft picks in its history.

In July, Eagen will likely make history as the program’s highest draft pick. Scouts foresee him as a possible second or third-round selection. This feat would surpass the achievement of third baseman Ryan Kane, whom the California Angels drafted in the sixth round of the 1995 draft.

“I want to say that I kind of expected this for myself,” Eagen said. “Obviously, the rapidness of it was a surprise to me and how quickly I’ve grown in the eyes of scouts. This has always been a dream of mine to be in this position, and I could have only gotten here through my own hard work and from the support I have with my teammates and coaches and family.”

Daniel Eagen
Photo of Daniel Eagen courtesy Presbyterian Athletics Department.

Eagen is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound right-handed pitcher who throws a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup from an over-the-top arm slot and a repeatable delivery. 

Eagen’s main pitch is his fastball, which sits 93-95 mph and touches 96 mph with carry and arm-side run. He likes to attack hitters up in the strike zone with his fastball. His curveball is an above-average offering that tunnels well off his fastball and features 11-to-5 breaking action. 

This spring, Eagen incorporated a slider into his pitch mix. It has developed into a quality outpitch that generates a ton of swings and misses. 

Eagen has a starter’s build with room to add strength to his frame. He also has a quality pitch mix and attacks the strike zone, possessing plenty of potential to thrive as a starting pitcher at the next level.

“My mindset is to be the biggest competitor on the field,” Eagen said. “I guarantee you that if you ask my teammates and coaches, they would say that once it’s game time, I don’t mess around and love to go at guys and feed off the competitive energy.”

Scouts want to see Eagen improve his changeup in pro ball. Eagen hopes to develop a better feel and more consistency with his changeup as he progresses throughout his career.

“I’m really looking forward to the development I can get from an organization,” Eagen said. “I feel like I haven’t reached my fullest potential as a pitcher. I feel like I have a lot of upside and can maximize the opportunities I have as a pitcher, physically and mentally. Besides that, I need to work more on my changeup. That is my weakest point right now and holding me back from being a true starter, according to some scouts.”

Daniel Eagen
Photo of Daniel Eagen courtesy Presbyterian Athletics Department.

Eagen has made tremendous strides in his three years at Presbyterian. As a freshman in 2022, Eagen posted a 7.63 ERA with 50 strikeouts and 31 walks allowed in 43 2/3 innings. 

He sprained his UCL at the end of his freshman year, causing him to miss most of his sophomore season. The setback caused him to tweak his mechanics and improve his shoulder strength and range of motion. The changes removed the pain he experienced when he pitched. Eagen posted a 12.10 ERA with 11 strikeouts and four walks allowed in 9 2/3 innings last year.

This spring, Eagen transitioned to a full-time starter role. He has developed into the team’s ace, with a 2.90 ERA, 103 strikeouts, and 24 walks allowed in 62 innings.

Eagen raves about his development on and off the field at Presbyterian. He also appreciates the relationships he has built and how he has grown in his faith over the last three years.

“I’ve grown so much and not just only on the baseball side but also with the man I’ve become,” Eagen said. “Coming to a school like this has been such a blessing. We aren’t as fortunate as other schools, but what we lack in facilities, we make up for in the relationships you build on and off the field with coaches, teammates, professors, and the people who make our food in the cafeteria. The PC community overall has been such a blessing.”

Read more in-depth stories on top 2024 MLB draft prospects at Baseball Prospect Journal.

Video of Daniel Eagen.

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for nine years. He has interviewed 518 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski IIIhttp://BaseballProspectJournal.com
Dan Zielinski III is the creator of the Baseball Prospect Journal and has covered the MLB draft since 2015. His draft work originally appeared on The3rdManIn.com, a sports website he started in December 2011. He also covered the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the credentialed media for four years. Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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