Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Cubs and first-round selection (27th overall) Ryan Jensen have agreed on a $2MM signing bonus, a deal over $500K south of the $2.57MM slot value for the pick (Andersen Pickard was first with the agreement).
Jensen, a right-hander from Fresno State, was projected by many outlets as a second-to-third round pick in the weeks leading up the draft, a fact reflected in his comparatively modest bonus. The six-foot righty dominated in late-season action, though, often flashing upper-nineties heat in the latter stages of his college starts. Jensen’s second-tier pre-draft status can be explained by his inconsistent array of secondary pitches, which often lagged behind his hard-to-ignore heat.
The pick is a departure from recent-year philosophy in Chicago’s high-level picks, as senior VP of player development and amateur scouting Jason McLeod explained Wednesday. After a mid-decade eruption of star-level talent graduating from the system, the Cubs farm has sputtered in recent seasons: by some accounts, the team doesn’t have a single top-100 prospect on its current ledger, though last year’s first-rounder Nico Hoerner has impressed in his first professional taste.