The Cardinals have signed second-round pick Charlie Tilson for $1.275 million. That's nearly triple MLB's recommended $457,200 for his No. 79 draft slot, and almost as much as what St. Louis paid first-rounder Kolten Wong ($1.3 million as the No. 22 overall pick).
An outfielder from New Trier HS (Winnetka, Ill.), Tilson was one of the biggest stars at the 2010 Area Code Games. He profiles as a leadoff hitter/center fielder with a line-drive bat and above-average speed. He had committed to Illinois.
The Diamondbacks and supplemental first-rounder Andrew Chafin have agreed to terms on an $875,000 bonus. MLB's guideline for his No. 43 draft slot was $789,300.
A lefthander, Chafin missed 2010 following Tommy John surgery but bounced back strong this spring to become the fourth Kent State pitcher drafted in the first or sandwich round (following Dustin Hermanson, Travis Miller and John Van Benschoten). Chafen throws a 90-95 mph fastball to both sides of the plate, but it's his 81-83 mph slider that's his most devastating pitch. He has the stuff and makeup to profile as a No. 2 starter or a closer.
The Cubs have inked second-rounder Dan Vogelbach for $1.6 million, the largest bonus outside of the top 10 picks so far. MLB's recommendation for his No. 68 slot was $537,300.
A first baseman from Bishop Verot HS (Fort Myers, Fla.), Vogelbach made a name for himself last December by winning the Power Showcase–an international high school home run competition–and launching a 508-foot blast. By comparison, Bryce Harper's best at the event a year earlier was 502 feet. Vogelbach has gotten in better shape since letting his weight swell to 280 pounds in the summer before his senior year, though he's an all-bat player limited to first base. He had committed to Florida.
The Yankees have signed Jordan Cote for $725,000, the highest third-round bonus so far in 2011. The commissioner's office guideline for his No. 118 draft slot was $252,000.
A product of Winnisquam HS (Northfield, N.H.), Cote is a projectable 6-foot-5 righthander with an 88-92 mph fastball and a clean arm action. The Coastal Carolina recruit has drawn some comparisons to fellow New Hampshire native Chris Carpenter.
The Mets have inked 16th-rounder Brad Marquez to a $325,000 bonus. Under draft provisions for two-sport athletes, New York will spread his bonus payments over three years. At the same time, the Mets will allow Marquez to continue playing football at Texas Tech and pay for his college education.
A shortstop from Odessa (Texas) HS, Marquez has electrifying speed and puts it to good use on the gridiron. He rushed for 2,210 yards and 29 touchdowns as a high school senior, and also was a Texas state finalist in the long jump. He's currently playing wide receiver for the Red Raiders.
"Coming from West Texas, nobody expects somebody to play pro baseball simply because West Texas is all about their football, but I'm blessed to be able to play both college football and professional baseball," Marquez said in a statement released by his advisors at Xclusive Sports Management. "It's something a lot of people don't get the chance to do and I'm blessed to have this opportunity to play for a first-class baseball organization in the New York Mets, as well as a great college football program at Texas Tech. This is simply the best of both worlds."
The Mets have signed 15th-rounder Phillips Evans For $650,000. That's the highest bonus ever paid by New York outside of the first two rounds, and represents the equivalent of supplemental first-round money.
A shortstop from La Costa Canyon HS (Carlsbad, Calif.), Evans has a line-drive swing and flashes solid tools across the board, along with good instincts. He had committed to San Diego State.
On what is expected to be a big deadline day of spending for the Blue Jays, their first deal landed them 13th-rounder Matt Dean for $737,500. That's the equivalent of sandwich-round money for a player who was considered a sandwich-round talent.
The Colony (Texas) HS product profiles as a third baseman with plus power and the ability to hit for a solid average. He has a strong arm that will fit well at the hot corner. He had committed to Texas.
The Blue Jays still have seven unsigned picks in the first 10 rounds, beginning with No. 21 overall choice Tyler Beede. If Toronto gets most of those players under contract, it very well could break the record for bonus spending on a single draft: $11,927,200 by the Nationals in 2010.
The Tigers have signed 15th-rounder Tyler Gibson for $525,000. That's more than three times MLB's recommended $150,000 maximum for picks after the fifth round, and nearly as much as Detroit paid its top 2011 selection, second-rounder James McCann ($577,900).
A product of Stratford Academy (Macon, Ga.), he's the son of Mercer head coach Craig Gibson. Tyler is a quality athlete with a pretty lefthanded swing, and he profiles as a third baseman or corner outfielder with projected plus power. He had committed to Georgia Tech.
The Royals have signed fourth-round pick Kyle Smith for $695,000. That's more than three times MLB's $227,700 recommendation for his No. 126 slot.
A righthander from Santaluces HS (Lantana, Fla.), Smith has an 88-92 mph fastball that has reached 95 and good aptitude for spinning a curveball. He had committed to Florida.
With less than 12 hours until the signing deadline, only one thing is certain: It's going to be a crazy night.
But here at Baseball America, we have you covered and will be providing up-to-the-minute news and analysis all night long.
The Draft Blog will be updating throughout the night with reports of any players that sign for $500,000 or more. Our Draft Database will be updating to show you which players have signed (and subscribers can see the Advanced Draft Database, which will have bonus information and scouting reports).
You can also follow Baseball America's draft writers on Twitter. . .
Baseball America: @BaseballAmerica
Jim Callis: @jimcallisba
John Manuel: @johnmanuelba
Aaron Fitt: @aaronfitt
Conor Glassey: @conorglassey
Nathan Rode: @BAHighSchool
In the meantime, you can read what Jim Callis expects will happen tonight, listen to two podcasts from Callis and John Manuel, where they break down what they're hearing will happen, team-by-team, or read articles and scouting reports on many of the players expected to sign tonight in our 2011 Draft Archive.
The Royals have agreed to terms with 29th-rounder Jake Junis for $675,000. That's the equivalent of sandwich-round money.
A star two-way player and basketball standout at Rock Falls (Ill.) HS, Junis is an 6-foot-3, 195-pounder. While he has power potential and a strong arm as a third baseman, his future is on the mound. He has an easy delivery, an 88-91 mph fastball and a promising curveball. He had committed to North Carolina State.
Baseball begins the day of the signing deadline with 23 of the 33 first-round picks still negotiating rather than playing. Eleven of 27 supplemental first-rounders also haven't come to terms, and 98 of the 331 selections in the first 10 rounds have yet to turn pro.
Much of that is by design. As it has since 2000, MLB has recommended specific bonuses for each pick in the first five rounds and a maximum for all subsequent choices (those guidelines are available for BA subscribers here). This year, the commissioner's office has asked clubs to refrain from offering more than those recommendations to players—especially first-rounders and college juniors—for as long as possible. Advisers have confirmed that some first-rounders had yet to be offered more than slot money before deadine day.
Additionally, MLB is trying to clamp down on the amount of bonus information unveiled before tonight's midnight ET deadline. The idea is to prevent players from using other above-slot bonuses as leverage. Two advisers told Baseball America on Sunday that teams threatened to scrap as-yet-announced deals if terms leaked out before the deadline.
Nevertheless, compared to the international amateur and major league free-agent markets, the draft remains the biggest bargain in talent acquistion. The bottom line is that teams want to sign their draftees and will pay for talent.
And they will pay dearly today. Six of the top seven choices remain unsigned—Gerrit Cole (No. 1, Pirates), Danny Hultzen (No. 2, Mariners), Dylan Bundy (No. 4, Orioles), Bubba Starling (No. 5, Royals), Anthony Rendon (No. 6, Nationals), Archie Bradley (No. 7, Diamondbacks)—and could command big league contracts and two-sport deals totaling $45 million or more. It may require at least $2.5 million each to sign four high schoolers taken near the end of the first round: Tyler Beede (No. 21, Blue Jays), Joe Ross (No. 25, Padres), Blake Swihart (No. 26, Red Sox) and Robert Stephenson (No. 27, Reds).
It's possible that all 33 first-rounders will have signed by the end of the day for something in the neighborhood of $95 million in bonuses and guaranteed salaries included in major league contracts.
Last year, teams combined to spend $91.1 million on bonuses on the final day of the signing period, and a total of $195.8 million on bonuses overall. Both of those figures are records that figure to be obliterated in 2011.
Also in jeopardy is the single-team bonus mark of $11,927,200 set by the 2010 Nationals. The Blue Jays already have spent more than $5 million and have yet to sign Beede and six other picks in the first 10 rounds.
The most prominent prospects not expected to turn pro are Pirates second-rounder Josh Bell and Nationals third-rounder Matt Purke. An outfielder from Dallas Jesuit HS, Bell was the best all-around prep hitter in the draft, but his mother is a college professor and wants him to attend the University of Texas. Industry insiders question whether he'd sign for even an eight-figure bonus.
The Rangers drafted Purke 14th overall out of high school in 2009 and agreed to a $6 million bonus, but MLB controlled the team's finances and killed the deal. Purke instead attended Texas Christian, and he entered 2011 as Baseball America's third-rated draft prospect behind Rendon and Cole. After going 16-0 as a freshman, he had shoulder, back and blister problems as a draft-eligible sophomore this spring. Rather than settle for less than Texas offered him, he's more likely to take his chances on going at or near the top of the 2012 draft.
With MLB trying to keep signing and bonus info quiet in hopes of reducing spending before Monday's midnight signing deadline, clubs officially announced just five deals with draft picks on Sunday. Four of those came from the Blue Jays, who acknowledged the signings of outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. (supplemental first round) and righthanders John Stilson (third), Anthony DeSclafani (sixth) and Mark Biggs (eighth).
Smith signed for $800,000, in excess of MLB's $674,100 guideline for the No. 53 overall pick. We previously reported Stilson's $500,000 bonus on Saturday. Bonuses for DeSclafani and Biggs weren't immediately available, though Biggs was believed to have a $600,000 asking price.
Aug. 15 update: Biggs indeed signed for $600,000.
A product of McIntosh (Ga.) HS, Smith was one of the top high school hitters available in the draft. The Georgia Tech recruit profiles as a right fielder with pure hitting skills and solid power and arm strength. His father Dwight Sr. finished second in the 1989 National League Rookie of the Year voting.
DeSclafani served in the bullpen for a Florida team that finished second at the College World Series. He throws a 93-96 mph fastball and a promising slider, though erratic command makes him more hittable than someone with his stuff should be.
Biggs would have gone earlier in the draft had he not fractured a verterbra in his back while lifting weights. He hit 94 mph in his first start of the spring for Warren East HS (Bowling Green, Ky.) before he got hurt, though he returned before the end of the season. The Louisville recruit's changeup is more advanced than his curveball.
The Blue Jays should be even busier on Monday, as they still have seven unsigned picks in the first 10 rounds, beginning with No. 21 overall choice Tyler Beede. If Toronto gets most of those players under contract, it very well could break the record for bonus spending on a single draft: $11,927,200 by the Nationals in 2010.
The Orioles have signed 26th-round pick Zach Davies for $575,000. It's the highest bonus Baltimore has paid thus far in the 2011 draft, though the club figures to exceed that amount Monday with the expected signings of first-rounder Dylan Bundy, second-rounder Jason Esposito and sixth-rounder Nick Delmonico.
A righthander from Mesquite HS (Gilbert, Ariz.), Davies has drawn comparisons to Mike Leake. Davies was committed to Arizona State, where Leake starred before going eighth overall to the Reds in the 2009 draft. Like Leake, he's a small but athletic righty with very good feel for pitching. Davies has the makings of four average pitches with his fastball, curveball, slider and changeup.
The Phillies have signed their top draft pick, agreeing to terms with supplemental first-rounder Larry Greene, the 39th overall selection in the draft. According to an industry source, Greene received a $1 million bonus, the first reported seven-figure bonus outside the first round. The commissioner's recommended slot for the 39th pick was $844,200.
A power-hitting outfielder out of Berrien County High in Nashville, Ga., Greene had as much raw power as any high school player in the 2011 draft class. Some scouts compared him to Russell Branyan, another lefty-batting player from that area, in terms of his power potential. Greene's next-best attributes are his strength at 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, and his solid-average running speed. He profiles best in left field.
Greene's signing leaves the Phillies with four unsigned players in the first 10 rounds, led by speedy outfielder Roman Quinn (second round).
The Mariners have signed fifth-round pick Tyler Marlette for $650,000. That's the highest bonus outside of the first four rounds so far in 2011, and is nearly four times MLB's $165,600 guideline for his No. 153 slot.
A catcher from Hagerty HS (Oviedo, Fla.), Marlette was the MVP of the 2010 Aflac all-star game, during which he homered at Petco Park. He's an excellent athlete for a backstop, and his arm and power are plus tools. He had committed to Central Florida.
The Blue Jays have signed third-round pick John Stilson, who projected as a likely first-rounder until injuring his shoulder in May, for $500,000. MLB's guideline for his No. 108 draft slot was $289,800.
The initial diagnosis was that Stilson had a torn labrum that would require surgery. Subsequent examinations led to a more optimistic view that the injury isn't as severe as first feared and perhaps can be healed through rehabilitation.
Stilson ranked No. 23 on Baseball America's Top 200 Prospects list before the injury. After spending his freshman season at Texarkana (Texas) JC in 2009, he led NCAA Division I in ERA (0.80) as a reliever in his first season with the Aggies. He moved into the rotation this spring and went 5-2, 1.68 with 92 strikeouts in 91 innings. When healthy, he threw a 91-94 mph fastball, a dynamic changeup and a hard breaking ball.
“Even when others were trying to figure things out [with the injury], I knew I would be fine and that this injury would be just a bump in the road," Stilson said in a statement released by his advisors at ICON Sports Management. "I needed a team to step up and give me the chance to get started, and I appreciate the Blue Jays providing me with this opportunity."
The Dodgers have signed 16th overall pick Chris Reed for $1.589 million–$77,000 above MLB's recommendation for his draft slot. He becomes the 10th of 33 first-rounders in this year's draft to sign.
A Stanford lefthander, Reed has a low-90s fastball that tops out at 96 mph and will flash a hard slider and plus changeup. Though the Cardinal used him almost exclusively as a reliever, he may get a chance to start in pro ball.
The Indians have signed seventh-round pick Eric Haase for $580,000. This marks the second straight year that Cleveland has invested heavily in a high school catcher. In 2010, the Tribe inked eighth-rounder Alex Lavisky for $1 million.
Haase's bonus is the highest after the fifth round so far this year.
A product of Divine Child HS (Dearborn, Mich.), Haase was the best high school position prospect in Michigan this spring. He's more athletic than most catchers and shows some strength, though many area scouts weren't sold on his ability to stay behind the plate. He had committed to Ohio State.
The Marlins and second-rounder Adam Conley have agreed to terms on a $625,000 bonus. MLB's recommendation for his No. 72 slot is $506,700.
A Washington State lefthander, Conley goes after hitters with an 88-93 mph sinker that touched 97 mph when he pitched in relief in 2010. His best secondary pitch is his changeup, and he also throws a slider.
Conley is the first of the Marlins' top four picks to agree to terms. Florida high schooler Jose Fernandez (14th overall), Mississippi prep shortstop Connor Barron (third round) and Georgia high school second baseman Tyler Palmer (fourth round) have yet to sign.
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