After a strong junior season at Stetson, righthander Tucker Donahue had several second-day draft offers in 2011. However, the finance major didn’t get the signing-bonus offer he was looking for and fell to the 38th round. He decided to return for his senior season and earned his degree; on the field, a disastrous opening weekend helped inflate his numbers. He finished 2-1, 5.20 with 27 strikeouts and 19 walks in 28 innings.
That’s not usually a recipe for moving up 34 draft rounds. But Donahue, whose fastball at times sits in the 92-95 mph range with boring action, was the Blue Jays’ fourth-round pick in 2012. He’s already signed for a four-digit bonus; Donahue declined to give the exact amount.
Welcome to the new draft.
“I talked to a good amount of teams, probably 15 teams, and I knew this was a possible play; it was pretty cut and dried,” Donahue said. “I’d say 10 of the 15 all asked if I would sign for something like that. As a senior, I knew it could happen. I figured the high draft round sticks with you. I thought it was worth trading a few grand to be a higher-round pick. Money disappears, but I will forever be a fourth-round pick.”
Righthander Kyle Barraclough of St. Mary's said his scout meetings were somewhat similar to those of Donahue, but he held out for a bit more money.
The Cardinals' seventh-rounder hasn't signed yet; he said the two sides were "waiting for the dust to settle once the draft is all the way over," he said Wednesday. But he said he was "pretty sure" his bonus would reach the five-figure barrier. The senior was a starter for most of his four seasons at St. Mary's, going 2-9, 3.95 in 2012. He has a power arm with command issues and walked 50 in 84 innings while striking out 80.
"I told scouts I was looking for a win-win situation," he said. "I wanted to get more than a senior would have gotten under the previous rules, but I was willing to help a club save some money as well.”
A 40th-round pick of the Twins in 2011, Barraclough said he had no regrets about coming back to his senior season, even if he or St. Mary's didn't have its best season. He graduated last month with a business administration degree and is ready to start his pro career.
"I was willing to take a deal," he said, "but I thought I needed to have something of a bonus to help support myself through the minor leagues," he said. "I tried to make that clear. It's a business."
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