Draft Notes: Bonuses, Astros, Appel, Gray, Bryant

Yesterday, we learned that the Rockies are eyeing third baseman Kris Bryant with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft.  However, the University of San Diego product is viewed as the best power bat in the draft and some even feel that he should be taken No. 1 overall.  The Astros will consider taking Bryant with the top pick along with right-handers Jonathan Gray and Mark Appel, left-hander Sean Manaea, and outfielders Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows.  Here's the latest draft news…

  • The draft bonus pool will be increased by 8.2% from last year's total, The Associated Press reports.  The league and the players' union agreed to an annual raise in signing bonuses (based on growth of industry revenue) as part of the most recent collective bargaining agreement.  The slot value for the first overall pick is now slightly more than $7.79MM, up from $7.2MM last year.
  • Astros scouting director Mike Elias talks to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart about how the team is approaching this year's draft.
  • Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) offers up his first mock draft of the year and has Gray going No. 1 overall to the Astros.  Beyond that, Law has Appel going No. 2 to the Cubs (or Gray, depending on which one is left) and the Rockies landing Bryant with the third pick.
  • MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo published a mock draft as well, with the same first three projected picks as Law.  They begin to differ on the Twins, with Law giving them high school righty Kohl Stewart and Mayo choosing Manaea for them.
  • Matt Eddy of Baseball America examined success rates for various draft demographics.  Eddy also highlights the biggest draft flops at each position, starting with catcher Ryan Christianson who never reached the majors despite being given a $2.1MM bonus after being taken with the eleventh pick in the 1999 draft by the Mariners.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post

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