No. 1 overall draft pick Royce Lewis will take his physical with the Twins soon, tweets Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. There aren’t expected to be any hangups in negotiations, per Berardino, who notes that the industry expectation is for Lewis to receive a bonus north of Dansby Swanson’s $6.5MM bonus from the 2015 draft. The top pick in the draft came with a slot value of $7.7MM, and MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger wrote this week that Lewis could sign for around $1MM less than that sum. That’d put his bonus in the $6.5MM to $6.7MM range, saving the Twins anywhere from $1MM to $1.2MM from the slot value. FanRag’s Jon Heyman pegs the expected value at “just a tick over” $6.7MM. Rays top pick Brendan McKay, meanwhile, is expected to sign for somewhere between $7MM and $7.2MM, according to Berardino. That’d be the largest bonus ever given to a college player under the current draft structure, surpassing Kris Bryant’s $6.7MM sum.
More notes on the draft…
- The Twins “crushed” Day 2 of the draft, MLB.com’s Jim Callis opines. Adding high school right-hander Blayne Enlow, a potential first-round talent that dropped due to a strong commitment to LSU, kicked off a day in which Minnesota selected five players that ranked inside MLB.com’s top 200 draft prospects. Enlow, Callis writes, has the best curveball in the draft as well as a fastball that has touched 94 mph and has room to grow as his projectable frame grows. Callis also lauds the White Sox, Dodgers, Red Sox and Brewers for the talent they secured in rounds three through 10. ESPN’s Keith Law agrees that the Twins did quite well to land Enlow with the No. 76 pick and also gives quite a bit of praise to the Athletics, who landed a first-round talent (in his estimation) with the 81st pick by taking shortstop Nick Allen. Law opines that the undersized Allen, who is listed at 5’8″, would’ve been a top 10 pick if he were three inches taller.
- FanRag’s Jon Heyman provides some insight into the progress being made with the top five picks in the draft. The Padres, according to Heyman, are expected to sign No. 3 overall pick MacKenzie Gore, a high school left-hander, for the full slot value of $6,668,100. Reds top pick Hunter Greene, meanwhile, is expected to sign for a deal “close” to the $7,193,200 slot value of his No. 2 overall selection, per Heyman. (Also of note for Reds fans: Heyman spoke to a rival exec who heaped praise on the Reds’ draft, opining that they “won the draft by far.”) And the Braves look to be going well over slot to sign Vanderbilt right-hander Kyle Wright, as Heyman reports that they’re discussing a deal worth close to $7MM, while the No. 5 slot carries a value of $5,707,300. Of course, Wright was long rumored to be a potential No. 1 overall pick, so it stands to reason that he’d come with a fairly sizable price tag.
- Baseball America’s John Manuel reported yesterday that Stanford right-hander Tristan Beck, a potential first-round talent that missed the 2017 season due to a stress fracture in his lower back, will not sign and plans to head back to Stanford (Twitter link). That didn’t stop the Yankees from drafting him late (29th round), though New York would obviously need to give him a massive bonus in order to convince him to forgo a return to college, as a healthy Beck would do quite well in next year’s draft. The Yankees may not have the leftover money even to make a legitimate effort to sign Beck, though he makes for a nice contingency plan if the team unexpectedly finds itself with some extra pool money to play with.