Thursday, June 14, 2012

Draft To Date

The Bucs capped a busy day of cashing in on draft deals when they signed 3rd round pick RHP Jon Sandfort. He was 8-1 with a 0.92 ERA as a senior this year at Winter Springs (FL) HS and has hit 94 on the radar gun.

The team now has 10 of their top 14 guys in the fold. The key misses so far: first round RHP Mark Appel of Stanford, fourth rounder OF Brandon Thomas of Georgia Tech, fifth rounder RHP Adrian Sampson of Bellvue CC, eighth round prep SS Kevin Ross of Niles West HS and fourteenth round RHP Walker Buehler of Clay HS.

None are slam-bangs. It will depend mightily on how much cap space can be freed up, so that will be a story that develops contract by contract. The Pirates are at $483K under the top-ten slot at this point (per Jim Callis of Baseball America), with six bonuses that were publicly announced, two exactly at slot and four under the wire.

Many of the upper end selections are prep players and they'll be tough signs. As noted above, the Bucs don't have a lot of play money to toss around yet, and the individual caps are set at $100K after the tenth round, which may not be enough to lure the HS kids away from college ball. They have enough in the bank now to offer Appel a $3.25M+ deal and some change.

The only college senior not inked yet beside Appel is local boy Jimmy Rider of Kent State and Peters Township HS, and the second baseman should come aboard after the Golden Flash are done with their CWS run. There are four college juniors left in the later rounds, and they are likely to sign.

All but one of the selections that have been assigned are heading to short-season Low Class A ball at State College.

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