The Reds have agreed to terms with competitive balance pick Michael Lorenzen, MLBTR's Chris Cotillo has learned. The Cal State Fullerton product is advised by the Boras Corporation. He will receive a $1.5MM signing bonus, which is slightly more than the $1,470,500 assigned pick value reported by Baseball America in April.
Lorenzen is both a center fielder and pitcher, though the consensus seems to be that he's better suited for the mound. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo ranked him as the draft's No. 45 prospect, while ESPN's Keith Law had him at No. 49 and Baseball America ranked him No. 52. Lorenzen boasts outstanding instincts in center field according to BA, with Law giving him an 80-grade arm. Mayo feels that pitching should be a backup plan given his outstanding tools in center field.
After the draft, Lorenzen told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that the Reds plan on allowing him to work as both a pitcher and an outfielder:
"They'll allow me to swing the bat and try to prove to them that I can hit. So I'm just going to continue to do both," Lorenzen said. "I think that with my work ethic and athleticism that I have that I have the ability to continue that in professional ball, and we'll just see where that takes me from there. "
Law opined that Lorenzen was a supplemental or early second-round talent as a pitcher, but he wouldn't take him nearly that high as an outfielder. Reds senior director of amateur scouting Chris Buckley told Sheldon that Lorenzen could reach the Majors very quickly as a reliever but added that Lorenzen is a very good prospect as an outfielder as well. Said Buckley: "…we're going to kind have a unique plan with him and we're going to try to let him do a little bit of both."