Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Team Player Position State Bonus
1 6 Washington Nationals Anthony Rendon 3B Texas $6,000,000
Rendon entered the season as the draft's top-rated prospect and still sits atop our rankings, but his season hasn't gone as planned. After hitting a combined .391/.497/.750 with 46 homers as BA's Freshman of the Year in 2009 and College Player of the Year in 2010, Rendon hit .323/.526/.516 with five homers in the regular season this spring. He strained his throwing shoulder in the second week of the season and has played little in the field. Rendon hadn't given teams any medical information as of mid-May, leaving them in the dark about the severity of the injury. Though it has affected his swing and bat speed, he's still the best all-around hitter in the draft. The 6-foot, 190-pounder has tremendous strength in his hands and wrists, uncanny hand-eye coordination and exceptional strike-zone discipline. Teams have pitched around him all season, and he was the runaway NCAA Division I leader with 66 walks. His bat speed and ability to barrel balls give Rendon more usable power than any player in the draft, with scouts projecting the righthanded hitter to bat .300 with 25-30 homers a year in the major leagues. When healthy, Rendon is a gifted third baseman with above-average range and arm strength. He has drawn comparisons to Evan Longoria and Ryan Zimmerman, though he bears a closer physical resemblance to David Wright. Rendon tore ligaments in his right ankle in the 2009 NCAA regionals and broke the same ankle on a slide with Team USA last summer, but he has been running and moving as well as ever this spring. He has average speed and runs the bases well. Both ankle injuries came on fluke plays, so scouts don't consider him injury-prone. As frustrating as his season has been, Rendon remains a strong candidate to go No. 1 overall. If Pittsburgh goes in another direction, it's unlikely the Mariners would pass on him at No. 2.
3 114 Cincinnati Reds Tony Cingrani LHP Texas $210,000
Tony Cingrani broke former big leaguer Tim Byrdak's single-season and career strikeout records at South Suburban (Ill.) JC, then followed Byrdak's path and transferred to Rice. After he posted an 8.59 ERA in six starts as a junior, the Owls overhauled Cingrani's delivery and moved him to the bullpen, and his transformation has been dramatic. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound lefthander has quickened his arm action and is staying more compact and on top of his pitches, and he's working at 92-94 mph and touching 97 with his fastball. He finished the regular season with a 1.92 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 52 innings. He pitches mostly off his heater, though the hope is that his below-average slider will improve once he gets more consistent innings in pro ball. He's one of the more attractive senior signs in the draft.
22 668 Cleveland Indians Matthew Reckling RHP Texas
Cingrani's teammate at Rice, righthander Matthew Reckling, has made a similar leap forward but won't be as easy to sign away from the Owls. He's a top student with one year of eligibility remaining, and the team's stadium is named after his grandparents, Tommy (a former Rice player) and Isla, the facility's lead donors. Reckling pitched just 16 innings in 2010, when he battled command issues and posted a 6.32 ERA, but emerged as the Owls' Saturday starter this spring. His stuff improved after Rice eliminated recoil in his delivery, and the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder now pitches with a low-90s fastball and a hard curveball. Reckling didn't begin pitching until his senior year of high school, and his command still needs work.
33 996 Kansas City Royals Abel Gonzales LHP Texas
41 1259 New York Yankees Jeremy Rathjen OF Texas
One of the reasons pitchers have refused to challenge Rice star Anthony Rendon this spring is that the Owls lost their cleanup hitter, Jeremy Rathjen, when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in mid-March. He projected as a top-five-rounds pick before he got hurt, and the injury should make him all but unsignable. Rice was able to redshirt him, so he'll still have negotiating leverage as a fourth-year junior in 2012. An athletic 6-foot-6, 205-pounder, Rathjen had gotten stronger and was making more consistent contact before he went down. He still has room to fill out more and develop more power. A plus runner, he plays a fine center field and has a decent arm.