Image credit: Missisissipi State's Jake Mangum (Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Correction: A previous version listed the wrong second pick for the Marlins, we apologize for the error.
The Mets surprised most everyone by drafting Matthew Allan, considered the top prep pitcher in the class, in the third round of the 2019 draft. And after that, they then picked college seniors with their next seven picks, counting on the money savings of drafting players with no negotiating leverage to provide the slot pool savings needed to afford Allan.
But they weren’t the only team adopting that strategy. The Marlins also drafted seven seniors while the White Sox drafted six.
After drafting Vanderbilt outfielder JJ Bleday in the first round and Missouri outfielder Kameron Misner in the supplemental first round, the Marlins picked high school shortstop Nasim Nunez in the second round. Miami also picked well-regarded high school righthander Evan Fitterer in the fifth round, but all their other Day 2 picks were college seniors.
The White Sox were similarly aggressive in taking high-upside (and potentially expensive) high school players in the second and third rounds. After selecting California first baseman Andrew Vaughn with the third pick of the draft, Chicago selected high school righthander Matthew Thompson with its second-round pick, another prep righthander Andrew Dalquist in the third round and speedy high school outfielder James Beard in the fourth round. After that, the White Sox selected college seniors with their fifth- through 10th-round picks.
It’s likely that all three teams will be aggressive in selecting high-upside (and high-priced) high school players with large bonus demands on Day 3. In the case of the Marlins and White Sox, they likely have some money remaining to spend on them. For picks in rounds 11 and up, teams are able to spend up to $125,000 without it counting toward their pool allotment. Anything they spend above $125,000 does count toward the team’s bonus allotment pool.
Here’s a look at how many college seniors each team drafted in the top 10 rounds.
|New York Mets||7|
|Chicago White Sox||6|
|Boston Red Sox||4|
|San Diego Padres||4|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||2|
|San Francisco Giants||2|
|St. Louis Cardinals||2|
|Tampa Bay Rays||2|
|Toronto Blue Jays||2|
|Kansas City Royals||1|
|Los Angeles Angels||1|
|New York Yankees||1|