Kolten Wong Rumors
The Cardinals have agreed to terms with first round pick Kolten Wong, reports Baseball America's Jim Callis (on Twitter). He will receive a $1.3MM signing bonus, slightly above MLB's slot recommendation of $1.287MM for the 22nd overall pick.
Wong, a second baseman from Hawaii, was expected to be in St. Louis this weekend as the two sides neared a deal. Baseball America (subs. req'd) says he has "professional approach at the plate and a good understanding of the strike zone" with surprising power for a 5-foot-9, 190 lb. middle infielder. They also mention that Wong might fit best as a "Chone Figgins type who moves around the field" down the road.
Check the status of all first and supplemental first round players right here.
Teams have 51 more days to get their draft picks signed before the August 15th deadline. Let's round up the latest draft news here...
- Cardinals first round pick Kolten Wong was expected to visit St. Louis today as he nears a deal with the team, reports The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Wong ran into some travel issues but is still expected to meet with the team soon, and scouting director Jeff Luhnow said they are having "active ongoing and daily discussions." A second baseman from Hawaii, Wong was the 22nd overall pick earlier this month, which comes with a slot recommendation of $1.287MM from MLB.
- Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have signed fourth rounder Kyle Simon, a right-hander from Arizona. MLB's slot recommendation for the 125th overall pick is approximately $231K, but it's unclear how much he received.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law lists the Rays, Twins and D'Backs among his day one winners while questioning moves by the Braves, Rockies and others. High school outfielder Josh Bell heads Law's list of best remaining players.
- Bell, Daniel Norris and Dillon Howard are the best players remaining according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.
- Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer and Brian Goodwin, Washington's first three picks, are all Scott Boras clients, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. The Nationals have a history of selecting Boras clients, going back to first overall picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.
- Rendon plays the same position as Nationals cornerstone Ryan Zimmerman, but "the point of the draft is to take the best player available" regardless of the big league roster, Zimmerman told Ladson.
- Top Orioles pick Dylan Bundy may be an especially difficult player to sign, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. “The numbers that were thrown out were true," Bundy said, without saying explicitly that he's looking for a $30MM bonus.
- Cardinals scouting director Jeff Luhnow sounds confident that he'll be able to sign first rounder Kolten Wong before the August deadline for deals, according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach.
- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and scouting director Amiel Sawdaye broke down Boston's top four picks and Alex Speier of WEEI.com has the details. Epstein says he thought some things broke Boston's way.
- Stephen Goff of the Houston Astros Examiner gets the sense that Astros' amateur scouting director Bobby Heck will take a pitcher with the 69th overall selection (Twitter link).
We're 41 days away from the amateur draft! The Pirates, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Orioles, and Royals will lead off with the first five picks. Click here to see the entire draft order. Several of the links below require subscriptions, which we heartily recommend purchasing. Today's notes:
- ESPN's Keith Law hears that South Carolina outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has a torn ligament in his wrist and could miss the rest of the spring (Twitter link). Bradley was expected to be a first round pick before the injury.
- Baseball America's John Manuel, Jim Callis, and Conor Glassey make picks for the first round - not projections, but their own preferences.
- UCLA righty Trevor Bauer is a top five candidate, writes Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, but there are concerns over his workload. Talking to ESPN's Jason A. Churchill, one assistant GM admitted he's worried about Bauer's pitch counts. He's averaged 124.5 pitches per start, according to Churchill.
- In a draft heavy on pitching, Goldstein says second baseman Kolten Wong out of Hawaii "is now getting late first round consideration."
- Connecticut outfielder George Springer has bounced back lately, perhaps enough to put him within the first ten picks, says Churchill. For more on Springer, check out Ben Nicholson-Smith's interview. Ben's other prospective draft pick interviews include Sonny Gray, Matt Purke, Danny Hultzen, and the elusive Gerrit Cole.
- Current buzz from Churchill still has Rice's Anthony Rendon going to the Mariners at #2 overall.