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Trey Ball Rumors
3:48pm: Speier adds that Ball signed for $2.75MM, which represents a savings of nearly $500K for the Red Sox (Twitter link).
2:20pm: The Red Sox have officially announced the signing of Ball.
12:02pm: The Red Sox and Ball have agreed to terms, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). His bonus is still unknown at this time.
8:51am: The Red Sox are in the final stages of negotiations with No. 7 overall pick Trey Ball, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com, and the deal is expected to be completed today. Ball has passed his physical, and his signing bonus is expected to be slightly below the assigned pick value of $3.246MM. Ball is advised by Frontline Athlete Management.
A high school left-handed pitcher/outfielder out of Indiana, Ball was a consensus Top 10 talent among ESPN's Keith Law (No. 8), MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo (No. 8) and Baseball America (No. 9). Law wrote that Ball could be a first-round talent whether drafted as a pitcher or an outfielder but was currently better suited for pitching: "On the mound, his talent is easier to spot — a 6-foot-6 left-hander with a loose arm, a fastball up to 94, and feel for a breaking ball already." Mayo adds that Ball's changeup is his best secondary offering, but he struggles to repeat his delivery at times.
The Red Sox view Ball as a pitcher, with director of player personnel Dave Finley telling Speier, “Trey’s velocity was pretty remarkable throughout the year. Being in a cold-weather state and having that velocity was pretty promising." Finley likens Ball to 2011 supplemental-rounder Henry Owens as well as a young Jon Lester. All three lefties were selected out of high school by the Red Sox.
It is believed, according to Speier, that the savings on second-rounder Teddy Stankiewicz's signing bonus and Ball's signing bonus will be enough to offset the over-slot deal given to third-round catcher Jon Denney.
The Astros had scouted Mark Appel for two years before making the Houston native the first overall selection in the 2013 amateur draft, reports Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. The Astros passed on the Stanford right-hander with the top pick in 2012, but Appel's stuff and performance were too much for the club to pass up this time around. Here's some more notes from the draft..
- The Red Sox expect to sign their first rounder Trey Ball (7th overall) and their second-round choice Teddy Stankiewicz (45th overall) to bonuses less than the slot recommendation, multiple industy sources have told WEEI.com's Alex Speier. This would allow the Red Sox to make an aggressive above slot offer to third-round selection Jon Denney, who was viewed as a likely first-round pick. Speier notes the high school catcher was invited to the day one broadcast of the draft on MLB Network and earned the distinction of being the only invited player not taken in the first two rounds. Denney, who has a commitment to Arkansas, was the 81st overall selection, which carries a slot recommendation of $671,200 (per Baseball America).
- The Diamondbacks prioritized advanced pitching and athleticism with their selections, writes Tyler Emerick of MLB.com. Diamondbacks scouting director Ray Montgomery was pleasantly surprised Braden Shipley was available when the club first picked at No. 15, since the Nevada right-hander was thought to go much earlier.
- The Cardinals focused on cost-certainty and upside, according to Chad Thornburg of MLB.com. The club approached the draft with a specific plan, and Cardinals scouting director Dan Kantrovitz was "thrilled" with the way things worked out, "Based on saving some money yesterday [Friday] through some more cost-certainty maneuvers, we could then translate that into some higher-upside guys early on [Saturday]."
- Although the Brewers did not have a pick in the first round as compensation for signing Kyle Lohse, the club was still excited about the pitching they found in the draft, notes Kevin Massoth of MLB.com. The Brewers selected high school right-hander Devin Williams with their first pick, No. 54 overall.
- Meanwhile the Padres like the hitting the club was able to snatch up over the last three days, reports Jamal Collier of MLB.com. The club used five of their first six selections on position players, including the 13th overall pick, Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
With the first round of the 2013 draft in the books, here's a look at the latest news on this year's top picks..
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told reporters, including Alyson Footer of MLB.com (via Twitter) Houston viewed Mark Appel as the pick to beat throughout the scouting year and never saw a player who became more appealing than the right-hander.
- Luhnow went on to say that the Astros won't rush Appel to the big leagues and there's no timetable for when he could eventually make his way up to the varsity squad (Twitter links).
- Cubs scouting director Jason McLeod wasn't bothered by Jonathan Gray's positive test for Adderall, according to Meghan Montemurro of The Northwest Herald (Twitter link). The Cubs, of course, selected Kris Bryant with the No. 2 pick.
- Red Sox's first round pick Trey Ball sounds like he's ready to join the Red Sox rather than attend the University of Texas based on this quote from Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal (viaTwitter). "Anything can happen, but I feel that Boston is right for me," said the left-hander, who was taken with the No. 7 pick.
- A's pick Billy McKinney says that the Yankees, Rangers, and Giants also expressed interest in him, tweets Paul Gutierrez of CSNCalifornia.com.
Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray's strong performance in the Big 12 conference tournament increased the likelihood that the Astros will pick him No. 1 overall, ESPN.com's Christopher Crawford writes (Insider-only). Crawford also quotes a scout who says that Indiana State's Sean Manaea — thought to be a top pick before the season — is "not a first-round prospect to me," and suggests Manaea may be best served by not signing and returning to school. Manaea was pulled from a recent start with shoulder tightness. Crawford's piece also contains details about Mark Appel and many of this draft class' top hitters. Here are more notes on the draft.
- Indiana high-schooler Trey Ball tops the list of two-way players available in this year's draft, Baseball America's Jim Callis says. Teams now prefer Ball as a pitcher, and it looks likely he'll be selected in the first 10 picks or so. Another two-way player is Cal State-Fullerton's Michael Lorenzen, who will be drafted as a center fielder, Callis says.
- If the Twins wish to avoid Scott Boras with the No. 4 overall pick in the upcoming draft, their best bets are high school pitcher Kohl Stewart or high school catcher Reese McGuire, ESPN1500's Darren Wolfson tweets. Stewart is being advised by Derek Braunecker and McGuire by Matt Sosnick, Wolfson says.