The Royals announced today that they have signed first round pick Brady Singer, as Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com first reported on Twitter. Kansas City will spend $4.25MM, well over the $3,349,300 slot value for the 18th overall selection, to land Singer.
Singer will join teammate Jackson Kowar (who reportedly agreed to terms yesterday) in going from a powerhouse University of Florida staff into the K.C. system. The pair drew ample attention in the run-up to the draft. Both pitchers ended up being among the first six college hurlers to leave the board. (UVA product Daniel Lynch went to the Royals one pick after Kowar, at #34.)
Most draft pundits agreed that Singer was, at a minimum, among the twenty or so best prospects. But there was certainly a range of opinion as to just how rosy his future outlook is. MLB.com rated him second only to unquestioned top prospect Casey Mize among all draft-eligible players. ESPN.com’s Keith Law, meanwhile, had Singer at 21st on his board.
The optimists argue that Singer has just about everything you could want in a pitching prospect, with a good frame and track record of durability combined with good command, oft-lauded competitiveness, and a projection of three quality pitches. On the other side, Law questions whether Singer will shake out in the rotation at the game’s highest level, citing concern with his delivery and ability to maintain his best stuff.
The Royals obviously believe in Singer, who is the most visible member of the team’s draft class — the composition of which reflects a clear strategy to add advanced amateur arms to the system. All of the players the Royals selected in the first ten rounds of the draft are now under contract, as fourth-rounder Eric Cole has also agreed to terms.