Rays Sign First-Rounder Ryne Stanek

The Rays have signed first-round pick Ryne Stanek for the full assigned pick value of $1,758,300, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter). The Rays, who have confirmed the signing via press release, received the No. 29 overall selection as compensation for the loss of B.J. Upton to the Braves in free agency. Stanek is advised by Jason Wood of Arland Sports.

Stanek entered the season as a potential Top 5 pick, but his stock fell due to inconsistency througout the year. Still, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo ranked Stanek as the No. 12 prospect in this year's draft, while Baseball America and ESPN's Keith Law each had him ranked 13th. Stanek slipped well past his expectations, and many considered the Rays' selection of Stanek to be one of the best values in the first round.

Mayo writes that Stanek "has as much arm strength as anyone, throwing a plus fastball in the mid-90s while maintaining velocity throughout his starts." Law feels that Stanek's curveball is ahead of his slider, though BA notes that his slider "has real power in the 84-87 mph range when it's right."

Stanek was one of two first-round picks for the Rays, who selected high school catcher Nick Ciuffo with the No. 21 overall pick. The Rays haven't taken a college pitcher this highly since selecting David Price out of Vanderbilt with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft. WIth Stanek's deal, 28 of the 33 first-round picks from this year's draft have signed.



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