The Astros have agreed to a $1.5MM bonus with fifth-round selection Jacob Nix, reports MLB.com’s Jim Callis (via Twitter). Mark Berman of Houston FOX 26 first reported (Twitter links) that Nix was set to sign.l
Needless to say, the agreed-upon bonus lands well above the $370.5K allocation that came with Nix’s 136th overall slot. The high school righty said that he thought he was destined for UCLA after sliding to the fifth round, and was “really surprised we were able to get it done.”
Nix was rated as high as the 87th-best available prospect coming into the draft, with ESPN.com’s Keith Law giving him that relatively lofty ranking. Meanwhile, Baseball America had him at 104 on its board and MLB.com’s Callis and Jonathan Mayo slotted him at 162nd. As the MLB.com duo explain, the powerful hurler has big tools and plenty of projectability, but endured a difficult senior season.
Of course, Houston saved a big chunk of change (about $1.422MM) by signing first overall choice Brady Aiken to an under-slot bonus, and has added some additional savings through later signings. Though he is not reflected in the MLB.com bonus tracker, sixth-rounder Brock Dykxhoorn ($277.4K slot) is apparently among those who have signed for slightly below his allotment, with Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reporting that he inked for $250K.
But much of that cushion now appears to be headed to Nix. The team’s most prominent pick that has yet to sign is 37th-overall choice Derek Fisher, who is still playing with Virginia in the College World Series.