The Athletics have agreed to sign first-round choice Matt Chapman, reports MLB.com’s Jim Callis (Twitter link). Chapman will receive a $1.75MM bonus that falls about $148K shy of the 25th slot’s bonus allocation.
Oakland thought more highly of the Cal-State Fullerton third baseman and right-handed reliever than did most draft observers. ESPN.com’s Keith Law had him as the 60th-best player available, while Baseball America put him at 64th overall and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis saw him as the 82nd rated draft prospect.
The overall consensus appears to be that Chapman has a big arm, though he has not seen much time on the hill. His bat has generated mixed views, with MLB.com citing good power that has not translated to game action, where he has struggled to square up the ball consistently. Baseball America says that he has a good approach and line-drive swing, noting that he has hit 98 on the radar gun and could value as a pitcher if he can’t stick as a position player. (The A’s, of course, have found recent success in a potentially analogous situation with Sean Doolittle.)
Those savings combine with the approximately $478.9K that the team secured in signing second-rounder Daniel Gossett and three other picks, as reported earlier today. Oakland has the ability to wield as much as $4.78MM in total bonus allotment, should it sign all of its picks from the first ten rounds.