While most of the attention will be on the big names at the top of the draft board (11 first-rounders are still unsigned), there will also be some interesting signings in the later rounds, guys lured away from college commitments by above-slot bonus deals. Case in point: JC Sulbaran.
One of the seemingly endless draftees from American Heritage High School (OK, 4 — Eric Hosmer, Adrian Nieto, Sulbaran and Joe Belviso), Sulbaran was taken in the 30th round by the Cincinnati Reds. He’s got a pretty strong commitment to Florida, but it now seems unlikely he’ll head to campus. Instead, it’s looking like the Reds and Sulbaran are very close to agreeing on a deal well above-slot. Stay tuned for the official word on that one in the not-too-distant future. Sulbaran is currently in China pitching for the Netherlands’ Olympic team.
The Canadian high schooler is reportedly going to get the opportunity to catch as a pro. For now, he goes to Beijing for the Canadian Olympic Team as a Brewer. Here’s the statement from Lawrie that was included in the release:
“The signing is now complete and I am thrilled to be a Brewer. The team
was patient and supportive given my unusual summer with the Worlds and Olympics,
so I am thankful for that. I will be in Milwaukee shortly after the Olympics end
and am excited to see Miller Park and the city. As you can imagine, my sole
focus right now is the Olympics, yet it is so nice to know that I am now part of
the Brewer family and I look forward to meeting them all upon my return from
Wow, that was articulate… what do you think are the odds he actually said that? No matter — congrats to Lawrie and the Brewers for getting that done. Hopefully there will be more to come.
Now that the trade deadline has passed (you can see my various blog posts on that craziness over at my Minors blog, B3), it’s time to focus on the next big deadline: the draft signing deadline. That’s coming at 12 p.m. ET on Aug. 15. To get ourselves ready (I’ll also be doing some blogging on Geeking about showcases — the East Coast Showcase begins today), let’s take a look at some of the latest on the unsigned first-rounders, starting with the unsigned in the to 10.
2. Pirates (Pedro Alvarez): Coonelly ‘frustrated by Alvarez negotiations
3. Royals (Eric Hosmer): Royals now focused on signing picks
4. Orioles (Brian Matusz): Is no news good news? There’s been nothing written lately.
5. Giants (Buster Posey): Nothing new to report here.
7. Reds (Yonder Alonso): Feet dragging on signing picks?
8. White Sox (Gordon Beckham): No news of late.
9. Nationals (Aaron Crow): Slow negotiations with Crow
I’ll be working the phones and the emails in the next couple of weeks trying to get the scoop on what’s going on, so stay tuned…
See what happens when I stay away from here for a little while? A few guys actually sign, though still relatively nothing to report from the Top 10 front…
No. 12 overall Jemile Weeks signed with the A’s. He was in Oakland on Tuesday, but got overshadowed by the big Rich Harden trade. Rickie’s younger brother will go to full-season Kane County in the Midwest League to begin his career. Reported bonus: $1.9 million.
The 19th pick in the draft, Andrew Cashner, has reportedly come to terms with the Cubs. He may workout with the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday. Reported bonus: $1.54 million.
No. 21 Ryan Perry has reportedly signed with the Tigers. He should start out in Class A Advanced Lakeland and could see Detroit’s bullpen in September. Reported bonus: $1.48 million.
Missed this one last week, but the Twins did sign No. 27 pick Carlos Gutierrez. The University of Miami closer will head to Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Reported bonus: $1.25 million.
Don’t know if you saw it, but it’s now official: No. 1 overall pick Tim Beckham has signed with the Tampa Rays. Below is the official release from the Rays:
ST. PETERSBURG, FL–The Tampa Bay Rays today signed shortstop Tim Beckham, the first overall pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. Beckham, 18, was drafted by the Rays out of Griffin High School in Griffin, GA on June 5. Beckham, who received a $6.15 million signing bonus, will report to the Rays Appalachian League affiliate in Princeton, W.V., to begin his professional career.
Baseball America ranked Beckham as the No. 1 high school prospect in the country entering the draft. The right-handed hitter batted .482 (53-for-110) with six home runs, 13 doubles, 41 RBI, 58 runs scored and 23 steals in his senior season, leading Griffin to the Region 4-A Championship and to its first state championship series since 1981.
“We are thrilled to add an athlete of Tim’s talent and character to our organization,” said Andrew Friedman, Rays Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations. “That we were able to conclude the signing process just two weeks after the draft is a testament both to the relationship that our scouting staff formed with Tim and his family, and of course to Tim’s enthusiasm for the game. He has true five-tool potential, and we look forward to helping him develop his unique abilities.”
Among high school prospects entering the draft, Beckham was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 2 “best pure hitter,” the No. 3 “best defensive player,” and No. 2 “closest to the majors.” ESPN.com and Baseball Prospectus ranked him as the No. 1 prospect in the 2008 draft.
Beckham hit .512 as a junior with six homers, six triples, nine doubles, 39 RBI and 20 stolen bases, earning honors as the 2007 Baseball America Youth Player of the Year. Last summer he was named the MVP of the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic in San Diego after leading the East to victory. Last August, Baseball America ranked him as the “best batting prospect” at the 2007 Area Code Games, held in Long Beach, Calif. Baseball America also tabbed him the No. 1 prospect in the East Coast Showcase in August 2007, “best batting prospect” and No. 3 prospect overall at the 2007 World Wood Bat Association tournament in Marietta, Ga., and the No. 4 prospect in his class at the 2006 WWBA tournament.
Beckham became the first No. 1 selection to be drafted out of a Georgia school since Mike Ivie (San Diego Padres) in 1970, and the third such player overall (also Ron Blomberg, New York Yankees, 1967).
The Rays also drafted Tim’s oldest brother, Jeremy Beckham, an infielder out of Georgia Southern University, in the 17th round. Jeremy signed with the Rays on June 10 and is currently playing for the Princeton Devil Rays.
Twenty-four of the Rays 50 selections have now been signed to contracts.
You miss a few days and look what happens. Signings a-plenty. As of now, it looks like four first-rounders — four of the top 30, that is — have come to terms.
No. 14 Aaron Hicks is the only guy in the top half of the first round to sign. He gets kudos, anyway, for being the only player with the, ahem, intestinal fortitude to show up in Orlando for the draft. All you other draftees, take note — you missed a great celebration. Terrific story by our Mike Scarr, so check it out. He’ll start out in the Gulf Coast League, in Ft. Myers, Florida.
We reported on No. 17 overall pick David Cooper signing in a previous post. As Jordan Bastian reported, he’ll be in the NY-Penn League to start, with Auburn. The Doubledays open at home against the Batavia Muckdogs tonight. Tune in and listen on MiLB.com Gameday Audio.
No. 22 Reese Havens came to terms with the Mets, as did No. 33 pick Brad Holt. Both will get early tastes of the NY life and the Mets-Yankees rivalry as members of the Brooklyn Cyclones. The Cyclones open their season tonight against the Staten Island Yankees out on Coney Island.
No. 29 Lonnie Chisenhall is ready to go for the Indians and he had one of the best quotes I’ve seen about the whole process, one I wish all draftees would make their own credo: “I don’t know why people hold out all summer. They’re
missing a lot of time when they could be growing and getting at-bats
under their belts.” Chisenhall will start in Mahoning Valley and the Scrappers open their season today at home against Williamsport tonight and you can listen to it live on MiLB.com Gameday Audio.
Other signing news:
Colorado: Rockies sign 19 draft picks
Detroit: Tigers sign 24
Los Angeles: Angels sign top pick, 26 others
Minnesota: Twins sign 10 others with Hicks
Oakland: A’s ink two more
Philadelphia: Phillies sign two picks
Pittsburgh: Pirates announce three more signings
Texas: Rangers come to terms with eight
Washington: Nats sign six more draftees
I’ll be blogging on debuts and the like over on my Minors blog (how’s that for synergy?), but will be back here later with more signings updates as well as stuff on the recent showcase at the Urban Youth Academy.
Some more signings announced for you, in addition to some interesting numbers from the 2008 draft.
Oakland: A’s sign six more, including second-rounder Tyson Ross
Philadelphia: Phillies sign four more
Pittsburgh: Four more sign with Pirates
San Diego: Padres agree to terms with 25 draft picks
Seattle: Mariners sign 23 draft picks
While not officially on the Padres site yet, Tom Krasovic was reporting at the San Diego Union Tribune that the Padres had agreed to terms with both first rounder Allan Dykstra and supplemental pick Jaff Decker.
Jon Heyman over on SI.com reported the Mets had signed Reese Havens, the No. 22 overall pick in the draft. Again, nothing official yet on the club site. And the Marlins are close to officially signing No. 6 overall pick Kyle Skipworth.
Trying to find out which draft picks have signed with which teams is sometimes easier
saidthan done. There doesn’t seem to be a one-stop shopping place for such information. So I decided to try, as best I could, to become that signing warehouse. I’ll try to throw up links to official announcements of signings whenever I can. Let’s start with what I’ve been able to find thus far. Congrats to David Cooper for being the first first-round pick (top 30) to sign.
Arizona: D-Backs sign 12 draft picks
Houston: Astros announce draft signings | Astros sign two more
Milwaukee: Brewers announce signing of 20 players
Philadelphia: Phillies sign seven
Pittsburgh: Pirates sign three | Pirates sign six more
St. Louis: Cards sign 30 picks | Cards signings
Washington: Nats sign 6 | Nats sign four more | Two more sign