The Diamondbacks have agreed to terms with Anfernee Grier, the team’s top draft pick, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis (via Twitter). He’ll receive a $1.5MM bonus, which lands just shy of the $1,658,600 allocation for the 39th overall selection.
Arizona sacrificed its first-round selection to sign Zack Greinke over the winter, but made clear it wasn’t interested in punting its competitive balance lottery choice to add another qualifying offer-bound free agent. Grier represents the payoff for that decision.
An outfielder from Auburn University, Grier was widely viewed as one of the fifty best draft-eligible prospects coming into this year’s festivities. The ESPN.com team rated him highest, at No. 40, citing his improving mechanics at the plate and top-end athleticism. He’s a center fielder who could still grow into additional power, so there’s upside aplenty.
Of course, there’s also some reason for skepticism. Baseball America (which rated him 49th) and MLB.com (54th) were somewhat less willing to bet on Grier. He doesn’t have a lengthy and consistent track record of dominance at the college level, and doesn’t feature well-developed plate discipline.