The Blue Jays have signed second-round pick Justin Nicolino for $615,000. His bonus surpasses MLB's guideline for the No. 80 choice ($450,000), making him the fourth Toronto draftee to have finalized an above-slot deal.
Nicolino follows second-rounder Kellen Sweeney ($600,000), sixth-rounder Sean Nolin ($175,000) and seventh-rounder Mitchell Taylor ($367,500). The Jays also are believed to have above-slot deals in the works with fifth-rounder Dickie Joe Thon (reportedly in the seven-figure range) and ninth-rounder Brandon Mims (for third-round money). Toronto has yet to sign first-rounder Deck McGuire, second-rounder Griffin Murphy and fourth-rounder Sam Dyson.
A lefthander from University High in Orlando, Nicolino has the chance for three average or better pitches. He's still filling out his 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame, and already works with an 88-91 mph fastball, a good changeup and a potentially average curveball. He had committed to Virginia.
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