3:29pm: The Astros have agreed to deals with six members of their 2016 draft class, reports Mark Berman of FOX 26 (links: 1, 2, 3, 4). Second-round outfielder/second baseman Ronnie Dawson, third-round catcher Jake Rogers, fifth-round third baseman Abraham Toro-Hernandez, eighth-round right-hander Nick Hernandez, ninth-round southpaw Ryan Hartman and 10th-round righty Dustin Hunt will officially join the organization.
Financial terms aren’t yet available on any of the deals, but Dawson stands to collect the highest amount. His selection, 61st overall, carries a $1.057MM slot value. MLB.com ranked the lefty-swinging Dawson as the 121st overall player in this year’s class, lauding the Ohio State Buckeye’s athleticism, raw power, bat speed and strength. Baseball America was more bullish on Dawson, placing him 53rd prior to the draft and also offering similar praise as MLB.com. However, BA doesn’t expect Dawson to end up in center field as a pro and wonders whether the 21-year-old will hit enough to hold down a corner outfield position.
Rogers’ pick, 97th, has a $614K pool allotment. The backstop from Tulane earned a higher rating than Dawson from MLB.com, which viewed him as the 87th-best player available and sees him as the premier defensive catcher in college baseball – and, per some scouts, the best defender at any position in this year’s draft class. Rogers’ lack of offensive skills could be problematic, though, as the right-hander has both a big leg kick that disrupts his timing and a long swing. BA had Rogers at No. 95 because of his defensive skills, but the outlet contends that he should put more focus on trying to hit for average to improve his issues at the plate.