The Indians and No. 42 overall pick Triston McKenzie have agreed to a bonus of $2.3MM, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter). As Heyman notes, that bonus comes in significantly higher than the slot value of $1.468MM.
Heading into the draft, some felt that McKenzie’s commitment to Vanderbilt would make him a tough sign, but his tantalizing arm led Cleveland to select him at No. 42 anyhow. McKenzie rated 44th, 46th, 51st and 53rd on the respective prospect lists of Fangraphs, ESPN, Baseball America and MLB.com.
As Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs notes, McKenzie is, at present, an incredibly thin 6’5″ and 165 pounds without great velocity. However, he projects to add a good deal of size and strength and also possesses advanced command with the potential for three above-average pitches. McKenzie won’t turn 18 until August, giving him additional time to fill out what ESPN calls “one of the most projectable arms most scouts have ever seen.” There’s some concern that McKenzie will always be on the thin side, but BA notes that if he does fill out well, “there’s plenty to dream on.”
The Indians have gone over slot to sign both top pick Brady Aiken and McKenzie, but they’ve made up for it further down the board, perhaps most notably with a pair of $5,000 senior signs in the ninth and tenth rounds of the draft.