Draft Notes: Seniors, Rodon, Archer, Hale

The number of college seniors taken in the first ten rounds of the draft increased when bonus pools were instituted in 2012, and the trend toward college seniors reached new heights in 2014, Clint Longenecker of Baseball America writes. Teams took a total of 71 seniors in the first ten rounds, including a total of 36 in the ninth and tenth rounds. Since seniors have little leverage, they can often be signed cheaply, and teams can use the pool savings on a senior drafted in, say, the ninth round on players drafted earlier, or even on hard-to-sign talents from Day 3. Here are more notes on the draft.

  • With the third overall pick in the draft, the White Sox drafted lefty Carlos Rodon, and 105 picks later, in the fourth round, they also drafted his catcher at NC State, Brett Austin. Austin is a big fan of his current, and perhaps future, teammate, MLB.com’s Scott Merkin reports. “I’m going to branch out and say he could be like a Clayton Kershaw one day,” says Austin. “It’s bold to say, but I’ve heard someone say he’s the best amateur pitcher they’ve ever seen over the last 20 years. And me catching him for the last three years, I’ve kind of started to believe that, too.”
  • Many high schoolers who were selected this week have difficult decisions ahead, and Fangraphs’ David Laurila checks in with high school product Chris Archer and college product David Hale to see what led them to decide when to turn pro. “If a company … is willing to offer you a large advance, and is willing to pay the expenses of school if it doesn’t work out … that’s something you probably want to take advantage of, especially if your family can’t necessarily cover all of your school expenses,” says Archer. The Rays pitcher, who was drafted by the Indians in the fifth round in 2006, adds that he also thought signing out of high school would help him develop as a pitcher, given how raw he was when he was drafted. Hale, meanwhile, thought he might be drafted somewhere from the third through eighth rounds out of high school, in which case he wouldn’t get enough money to sway him from going to Princeton. He went to college, signed with the Braves after his junior year, and quickly finished his degree the following offseason.

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