Three of the five highest bonuses in draft history were paid in 2011, including a record $8 million to No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole by the Pirates. This year, the largest bonus went to No. 2 overall choice Byron Buxton, whose $6 million from the Twins tied for the 11th-most ever.
|Player, Pos.||Team, Year (Pick)||Bonus|
|Gerrit Cole, rhp||Pirates, 2011 (No. 1)||$8,000,000|
|Stephen Strasburg, rhp||Nationals, 2009 (No. 1)||*$7,500,000|
|Bubba Starling, of||Royals, 2011 (No. 5)||+$7,500,000|
|Jameson Taillon, rhp||Pirates, 2010 (No. 2)||$6,500,000|
|Danny Hultzen, lhp||Mariners, 2011 (No. 2)||*$6,350,000|
|Donavan Tate, of||Padres, 2009 (No. 3)||+$6,250,000|
|Bryce Harper, of||Nationals, 2010 (No. 1)||*$6,250,000|
|Buster Posey, c||Giants, 2008 (No. 5)||$6,200,000|
|Tim Beckham, ss||Rays, 2008 (No. 1)||+$6,150,000|
|Justin Upton, ss||Diamondbacks, 2005 (No. 1)||+$6,100,000|
|Matt Wieters, c||Orioles, 2007 (No. 5)||$6,000,000|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3b||Pirates, 2008 (No. 2)||*$6,000,000|
|Eric Hosmer, 1b||Royals, 2008 (No. 3)||$6,000,000|
|Dustin Ackley, of||Mariners, 2009 (No. 2)||*$6,000,000|
|Anthony Rendon, 3b||Nationals, 2011 (No. 6)||*$6,000,000|
|Byron Buxton, of||Twins, 2012 (No. 2)||$6,000,000|
|*Part of major league contract.|
|+Bonus spread over multiple years under MLB provisions for two-sport athletes.|
Four unsigned 2012 draftees will yield compensation picks in the 2013 draft:
9. Pirates (for Mark Appel)
SECOND OR THIRD ROUND*
76. Mets (for Teddy Stankiewicz)
96. Phillies (for Alec Rash)
SUPPLEMENTAL THIRD ROUND
tba. Athletics (for Kyle Twomey)
*Stankiewicz and Rash were second-rounder in 2012, but with many fewer projected supplemental first-round picks and six supplemental second-round picks next year, it's possible their related compensation picks will fall in the third round. The Phillies' comp pick for Rash almost certainly will be a third-rounder.
With 15 minutes to go before today's Friday 5 p.m. Eastern signing deadline, 15 picks in the top 10 rounds remained unsigned. From top to bottom, here's what happened with them:
Kevin Gausman (Orioles, first round, No. 4 overall): Signed for $4.32 million. That made him one of the few players to get more than his assigned pick value ($4.2 million ) in the first round. He got the third-highest bonus in the draft, behind No. 2 overall pick Byron Buxton ($6 million) and No. 1 overall choice Carlos Correa ($4.8 million).
Mark Appel (Pirates, first round, No. 8 overall): Did not sign. A source said Pittsburgh offered him $3.8 million, the most it could without forfeiting a 2013 first-round pick. Considered the likely No. 1 overall choice before the draft, he will return to Stanford for his senior season.
Lucas Giolito (Nationals, first round, No. 16 overall): Signed for $2,925,000. He likely would have gone in the top three picks had he not injured his elbow in March. While he didn't get the money he would have commanded at the top of the draft, he got well in excess of his $2,125,000 pick value. [...] Continue Reading »
As reported by Baseball America's Jim Callis, the Pirates were not able to come to terms with No. 8 overall pick, Stanford righthander Mark Appel. He's the only first-round pick who didn't sign this year.
Callis reports that a source told him that the Pirates offered Appel $3.8 million, the most they could have paid him without giving up a first-round pick as penalty.
Appel will return to Stanford for his senior season after going 10-2, 2.56 as a junior with 130 strikeouts in 123 innings. He has a workhorse build at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds to go along with his mid-90s fastball that touches 98. He throws a hard slider that has the potential to be an out pitch and his changeup has improved.
The Pirates will receive the No. 9 pick in next year's draft as compensation for not signing Appel.
As reported by Baseball America's Jim Callis, the Orioles signed Louisiana State righthander Kevin Gausman for $4.32 million shortly before the 5 p.m. Eastern deadline.
Gausman, the No. 4 overall pick, was a draft-eligible sophomore with two premium pitches in his 94-96 mph fastball that touches 98 and his 85-86 mph changeup. Scouts have questions about his breaking ball, as he switched between a curveball and a slider during his college career. He still went 12-2, 2.77 as a sophomore for the Tigers with a 135-28 strikeout-walk ratio in 124 innings.
As reported by Baseball America's Jim Callis, the Nationals signed one of the best talents in the 2012 draft class, righthander Lucas Giolito, for $2,925,000.
Teammates with lefthander Max Fried at Harvard-Westlake High (Studio City, Calif.), Giolito was considered to be a strong candidate to be the first-ever high school righthander to be picked first overall. But a slight tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in March in his right elbow kept him out of games for the rest of the season. He began throwing on flat ground in early May and fell to the Nationals at 16th overall in the draft.
When healthy, Giolito sits in the mid 90s with his fastball and even touched 100 this spring. His curveball is a well-above-average pitch that sits in the mid 80s and he also works with a plus changeup that is 82-84 mph.
The Rays have signed first-round pick Richie Shaffer for $1.71 million.
Some scouting directors considered Shaffer the best offensive player from the college crop in this year's draft. The Clemson third baseman hit .336 with 10 homers and 63 walks in 63 games this spring. He shows power to all fields and has the arm strength for the hot corner.
Shaffer's bonus was $15,000 less than the assigned $1,725,000 value for his No. 25 overall slot. Tampa Bay has saved $46,700 versus its bonus pool for the top 10 rounds.
View our Rays Draft Database here.
Note: The original version of this blog post incorrectly reported Shaffer's bonus as $1,712,500.
After telling Andrew Heaney on Tuesday that they wouldn't sign him and confirming that yesterday, the Marlins have agreed to terms with their first-round pick for $2.6 million.
A lefthander from Oklahoma State, Heaney was the most polished pitcher available in the draft. He sits at 90-92 mph with his fastball and command his solid breaking ball and changeup as well. Heaney's bonus was $200,000 less than the $2.8 million assigned value for his No. 9 selection.
Miami now has saved $316,000 versus the values of its signed players in the first 10 rounds, and likely will sign third-rounder Avery Romero and 19th-rounder Cody Gunter later today.
View our Marlins Draft Database here.
Sweeping changes to baseball's draft rules have led to a drastically different signing deadline day.
A year ago, when MLB tried to limit bonus spending through an informal slotting system, 23 of 33 first-round picks were unsigned on deadline day (Aug. 15). Eleven of 27 supplemental first-rounders hadn't come to terms, and 98 of the 331 selections in the first 10 rounds hadn't done so. The commissioner's office pressured clubs into delaying lucrative offers and announcing extravagant deals for as long as possible.
With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement levying harsh penalties for teams that exceed their assigned bonus pools—such as the loss of a first-round pick for an overage of more than 5 percent—MLB has taken a laissez-faire attitude and let the rules work as intended.
So despite the deadline being moved up more than a month to today, almost all of the top choices have signed. Just five of the 31 first-rounders haven't turned pro, and one of those (Rays third baseman Richie Shaffer) has agreed to terms. All 29 supplemental first-rounders are under contract, and all but 17 of the 338 choices in the top 10 rounds have signed. [...] Continue Reading »
The Yankees have signed first-round pick Ty Hensley, a righthander from Santa Fe HS in Edmond, Okla., for $1.2 million.
Hensley originally agreed to a $1.6 million bonus shortly after the draft, matching the assigned pick value for his 30th overall selection. But during his physical on June 8, an MRI revealed an abnormality in his right shoulder.
Hensley never has had a shoulder injury or pain, and he consistently impressed scouts during the spring. He repeatedly worked at 92-95 mph and touched 96-97 with his fastball. Scouts considered his upper-70s curveball even better than his fastball. He's a 6-foot-5, 220-pound athlete who also played quarterback at Santa Fe and showed power from both sides of the plate. He had been committed to Mississippi.
"People have told me all along that there was the game of baseball and the business of baseball," Hensley said in a statement released by his adviser, Rob Martin of ICON Sports. "All I know is that I’m ready to get back to playing baseball. I’m healthy and throwing up to 98 mph and have never had any shoulder trouble, period. At the end of the day I have decided that the best place for me to prove that this ‘abnormal’ is my ‘normal’ is on the field in pro ball, and I can't think of an organization I’d rather do it with than the New York Yankees. I feel blessed to be a part of an organization with such history and I’m ready to work!"
Hensley also said he was happy with how the Yankees treated him during the signing process.
"They have had to work through things just like I have," he said. "We are in this together. A deal like this says they want me and I want them. By being honest about what happened, I’m hoping that this situation will lead to a better understanding of medicals like mine in the future. There’s no sense in being bitter about my reduced bonus or medical situation. I’m still living a dream and grateful for the opportunity. Right now I think we all just want to put this behind us and concentrate on the impact I can have on the Yankees now and in the future."
By saving $400,000 on Hensley's bonus versus his pick value, New York is now $406,300 under budget with its bonus pool for the first 10 rounds.
View our Yankees Draft Database here.
The Cubs have agreed with No. 6 overall pick Albert Almora on a $3.9 million bonus, pending the outcome of a physical on Monday.
A center fielder from Mater Academy (Hialeah Gardens, Fla.) and a perennial standout on U.S. national teams, Almora was the most polished high school player available in the draft. The sixth overall selection, he has plus tools across the board and even better instincts. He could develop into a .300 hitter with 20 homers per season. He had committed to Miami.
Almora's bonus exceeded the assigned value for the No. 6 pick by $650,000, leaving the Cubs $373,800 above their $7,933,900 bonus pool for the first 10 rounds. They'll pay a 75-percent tax on the overage as a penalty under the new draft rules, a bill that will come to $280,350.
View our Cubs Draft Database here.
The Cubs and Duane Underwood have agreed on a $1.05 million bonus, pending a physical on Monday. That's the third-highest bonus in the second round this year, trailing only Carson Kelly ($1.6 million, Cardinals) and Joe DeCarlo ($1.3 million, Mariners).
A righthander from Pope HS in Marietta, Ga., Underwood was inconsistent this spring but lights out at his best. At times, his fastball sits at 91-94 mph and tops out at 98, and he also shows aptitude for spinning a curveball. One of the youngest players in the 2012 draft—he doesn't turn 18 until July 20—he had committed to Georgia.
Though Underwood's bonus exceeds the $769,600 assigned value for his No. 67 slot, the Cubs are still $276,200 under budget for their signings in the top 10 rounds. Their only unsigned player in that range is No. 6 overall choice Albert Almora, whom Chicago can pay up to $3,922,895 without forfeiting a future first-round selection.
View our complete Cubs Draft Database here.
The final game for this year's Prospect Classic ended in a 6-6 tie, but there were several standout performances. . .
• Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto went 3-for-4 in the game with a double.
"I'm seeing the ball really well right now, especially against some really good pitchers," Conforto said. "I couldn't ask for a better game today and I'm feeling really good."
Hitting well is nothing new for Conforto, who hit .349/.438/.601 as a freshman last season, while leading the Pacific 12 conference in home runs with 13.
"He's got a great swing and. . . when you drive in 76 runs or whatever it ended up being in the Northwest, that's legit," Oregon head coach and Team USA assistant coach George Horton said. "We're in the same state, so we follow each other closely and those RBIs were clutch RBIs, as well. He hit third against right and lefthanded pitchers and, unfortunately, we're going to have to figure out a way to get him out the next couple years, but it's good to have him in my dugout.
"He's a tremendous player who has a bright future."
[...] Continue Reading »
The Padres have agreed to terms with supplemental first-round pick Walker Weickel on a $2 million bonus.
The last of the 29 sandwich picks in this year's draft to turn pro, Weickel more than doubled the $925,900 assigned value for his No. 55 selection. He's the sixth player to receive $1 million or more above his pick value, joining Lance McCullers Jr. (Astros, supplemental first round), Matt Smoral (Blue Jays, supplemental first), Carson Kelly (Cardinals, second), Rio Ruiz (Astros, fourth) and Ty Buttrey (Red Sox, fourth).
A righthander from Olympia HS in Orlando (which also produced Reds sandwich-rounder Jesse Winker), Weickel is a projectable 6-foot-6, 200-pounder who shows a low-90s fastball at his best. He has the potential for three average or better pitches once he fills out. He had committed to Miami.
Weickel was the last unsigned Padres draft pick in the top 10 rounds. They currently stand at $90,100 under their bonus pool allotment of $9,903,100.
View our Padres Draft Database here.
The Blue Jays signed Marcus Stroman, their second of two first-round choices, for $1.8 million. His bonus matches the assigned value for his No. 22 overall selection.
Several scouting directors thought Stroman had the most electric arm in the draft, but he lasted 22 picks because he's 5-foot-9. Though he lacks size, the Duke righthander works at 92-94 mph and touches 96 with his fastball as a starter. His slider is even more devastating than his heater. If Toronto elects to develop him as a reliever, he could be the first player from the 2012 draft to reach the majors, and it's possible he could contribute in September if needed.
The Blue Jays have now signed all 14 of their players in the first 10 rounds, coming in at $110,200 over their allocated bonus pool of $8,830,800. They'll pay a 75 percent tax on their overage, which comes to $82,650.
View our Blue Jays Draft Database here.
Three games into the 2012 Prospect Classic and the highlights are still about the Collegiate National Team. Aside from a couple lopsided innings in Game Two, the 18U National Team has held its own in the series, but the college players have stood out the most mostly because of their advanced experience and a crop of preps that scouts feel is down from recent years.
Game Three highlights belonged to infielder Trea Turner (North Carolina State) and righthander Bobby Wahl (Mississippi). Wahl was a known entity in high school and ranked 68th on the Preseason High School Top 100 in 2010—just four spots behind Monday starter Adam Plutko (UCLA). But he had a lackluster spring, admitting that he got caught up in the draft talk, and fell to the 39th round. He honored his commitment to Ole Miss and made 18 appearances (one start). He logged four saves and went 0-2, 4.80 with 26 strikeouts, 11 walks and 33 hits allowed in 30 innings. After his freshman season he went to the Cape Cod League and pitched out of the bullpen for Cotuit and went 1-1, 1.23 in 16 appearances with six saves. In 22 innings, he allowed 15 hits and 11 walks while striking out 38. That summer he learned some valuable lessons and took them back to Ole Miss. [...] Continue Reading »
The Mariners have signed Mike Zunino, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, for $4 million.
Baseball America's College Player of the Year, Zunino led Florida to its third straight College World Series appearance by batting .322/.394/.669 with 19 homers. His plus power is his best tool, and he also has a solid bat and defensive skills.
Zunino's bonus was the third-highest thus far in the 2012 draft but also $1.2 million less than the assigned value for the third choice. The Mariners are now $36,600 over budget for their signings in the first 10 rounds. Seattle's lone unsigned player in that group is eighth-rounder Nick Halamandaris, a California high school first baseman.
The Mariners previously had handed out above-value bonuses to second-rounder Joe DeCarlo ($1.3 million), supplemental third-rounder Tyler Pike ($850,000), fifth-rounder Chris Taylor ($500,000) and sixth-rounder Timmy Lopes ($550,000). Unless Seattle signs eighth-rounder Nick Halamandaris to a below-value deal, it will be subject to a 75 percent tax on its overage ($27,450) under MLB's new draft rules.
View our Mariners draft database here.
UPDATED: July 1, 2012 at 4:09 p.m EST.
After the first game of the 2012 Prospect Classic ended in a 2-2 tie, the bats busted out in Game Two, but just for one side. Behind an eight-run second inning the Stars beat the Stripes 15-3 with 16 hits and seven walks. Oral Roberts infielder Jose Trevino led the barrage by going 2-for-3 with six RBIs and two runs scored. He doubled in the top of the second to open the scoring and followed with a grand slam in the fourth to make it 12-0.
Despite the outburst of offense, Arkansas righthander Ryne Stanek was one of the bigger highlights of the night. He pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out four. The only trouble he found was in the second inning when he allowed a leadoff single, got two outs and then loaded the bases with a walk and fielder's choice. But he got Kentucky outfielder Austin Cousino to fly out to end the inning. He cruised through the third inning and was taken out in the fourth with two outs after walking a batter. He had thrown 59 pitches.
"I felt like I competed pretty well," Stanek said. "I threw my fastball for a strike, which is the biggest thing. I was able to throw most everything for a strike. The second inning I ran into a little trouble. I tried to get a little too fine and make too good a pitch instead of just letting them put the ball in play and get a quick out." [...] Continue Reading »
The Dodgers have agreed to terms with first-round pick Corey Seager. He'll receive a $2.35 million bonus in a deal expected to be finalized today.
Seager was one of the best high school bats available in this year's draft. He possesses an easy lefthanded swing and power to all fields. A shortstop at Northwest Cabarrus HS (Concord, N.C.), he'll probably move to third base as a pro. The younger brother of Mariners starting third baseman Kyle Seager, Corey had been committed to South Carolina.
Seager's bonus exceeded the assigned value for his No. 18 slot by $400,000 and leaves the Dodgers $98,500 over budget for their signed picks in the first 10 rounds. Los Angeles has one unsigned player remaining in those rounds: Florida lefthander Paco Rodriguez, its second-rounder.
View our Dodgers Draft Database here.
For the second-annual Prospect Classic, USA Baseball decided to mix things up a little bit—literally.
Instead of having two games pitting the College National Team against the 18-and-under hopefuls, the event was expanded to four games—two games with the teams integrated followed by two games in the traditional format.
The first game took place June 29 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and ended with a 2-2 tie after seven innings. As usual, the pitching was ahead of the hitting—especially the college pitchers—and the most impressive arm was lefthanded starter Marco Gonzales from Gonzaga.
Gonzales has an athletic 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame. He repeats his effortless delivery well, allowing him to fill up the strike zone. Last year at Gonzaga, he went 8-2, 1.55 with 92 strikeouts and 23 walks over 93 innings.
Gonzales gave up one hit over four shutout innings. He didn't allow a walk and stuck out three.
[...] Continue Reading »
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