The Brewers have announced that they’ve signed fifth overall draft pick Corey Ray, an outfielder from Louisville. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports tweets that Ray will receive $4.125MM, giving the Brewers a modest savings against the $4,382,200 slot value of the fifth overall pick.
MLB.com ranked Ray the sixth-best talent available in this year’s draft, with Baseball America rating him seventh. MLB.com noted that he provided the “best combination of hitting and athletic ability” available in this year’s draft, praising his combination of power and speed, which resulted in 15 homers and 44 steals in a .310/.388/.545 junior season at Louisville. He mostly played right field in college, although he seems likely to get a shot at center field as a pro.
In April, MLBTR’s Chuck Wasserstrom spoke to Ray, who said he imagined himself as a future leadoff hitter. He also described being selected by the Mariners in the 33rd round in 2013 and ultimately deciding to go to college. “That dream was knocking on my door, and those were some pretty tough conversations with my father. He told me I wasn’t ready. All I was seeing was the dollar amount and not the big picture,” Ray said. As it turns out, it looks like he made a good decision, as he’ll now get a multimillion-dollar bonus and an immediate spot near the top of the Brewers’ list of top prospects.