Draft Day Part II
I know, I know. The draft was more than two months ago. But with the signing deadline having past last night, many of the first round picks just signed. It almost feels like Draft Part II.
Of course Stephen Strasburg – now a Washington National – made the biggest headlines, inking a record $15.1 million major league contract with a record $7.5 million signing bonus. Yipes. I guess now he can upgrade from that Schwinn now. Those kind of dollar figures are pretty mind boggling, aren’t they? And I can’t believe people are calling for him to be in the big leagues later this year. Sounds like a great way to take a $15.8 million investment and increase the odds that he flames out if you ask me.
I think a lot of people were surprised that there were only three first-rounders that didn’t sign, one of which – Aaron Crow – was not beholden to the same signing deadline in his negotiations with the Royals.
Of course, in our world, the biggest signing was that of St. Louis Cardinals’ first-rounder Shelby Miller. The St. Louis Cardinals made a bold move by picking him in the first place. Though they grabbed the flame-throwing righty at No. 19 overall, the only reason the talented high schooler dropped that far was because teams were scared off by perceived bonus demands. That marked an agressive move by an organization that had been criticized for playing it safe and electing to draft lower-risk, lower-ceiling prospects in recent drafts. I’m not sure I buy into that criticism, but that’s certainly what was flying around the papers in St. Louis.
In signing Miller for $2.875 million, the Cardinals took a high ceiling prospect with front-of-the-rotation potential. They had to go above slot to sign him, but came in well below the reported $4 million he was asking for. We’re talking about a guy that was rated by Baseball America as the 7th-rated right-handed pitcher in the entire draft. He went 10-2 as a high school senior in Brownwood, Texas, posting a 1.90 ERA while racking up 153 strikeouts in just 77 innings.
And while he likely won’t be able to pitch this season, the ace-of-the-future could very well be wearing a River Bandits uniform in 2010.