The Royals have agreed to an at-slot, $1,825,200 bonus with 33rd overall selection Nolan Watson, Jim Callis of MLB.com tweets. That pick came to the club for losing James Shields in free agency after he declined a qualifying offer.
Kansas City has also put its other two highest selections in the books, with Ashe Russell’s signing announced yesterday and second-round pick Josh Staumont also reportedly agreeing to terms. All said, K.C. is just $6K over its draft pool from those three signings, and it has locked in significant savings from several choices further down the line.
Watson earned the 36th spot on the board of Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs, the top slot awarded by a draft pundit. Something of a late-bloomer who played high school ball in Indiana, Watson impressed with a mid-90s fastball. MLB.com, which ranked him 61st among draft-eligible players, also noted that Watson owns three promising offspeed offerings.
ESPN.com’s Keith Law had Watson in the 50th overall spot, while Baseball America rated him 56th. Law likes Watson’s ceiling due to his quick arm, but notes that the youngster could ultimately end up as a pen piece if he can’t clean up his mechanics somewhat.