JUNE 12: Expectations are that Soderstrom will sign for approximately $3.3MM, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets. That would indeed check in well above slot, as Glaser reported.
JUNE 10, 10:54pm: There’s no deal yet, according to Soderstrom. However, the A’s are optimistic he will sign, per Slusser.
9:38pm: The Athletics have already reached an agreement with first-round pick Tyler Soderstrom, Kyle Glaser of Baseball America reports. Details aren’t known yet, but it’s worth “considerably above slot,” according to Glaser. Soderstrom’s pick, No. 26, comes with a slot value of $2,653,400. Oakland entered the draft with an overall pool of $5,241,500.
Soderstrom’s a local product out of Turlock High School in California, and he’s also the son of 1993 Giants first-rounder Steve Soderstrom, a former pitcher who had a cup of coffee with San Francisco in 1996. Tyler Soderstrom had been in line to play at UCLA before the draft, but he’ll instead continue his development as part of one of the state’s major league teams.
Oakland’s clearly bullish on the younger Soderstrom, as its scout for Northern California, Kevin Mello, told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle: “He’s the best amateur bat I’ve seen in my 15-year career. He’s got a chance to be very, very good. He’s a really special player.”
Mello’s also of the belief that Soderstrom will stick behind the plate, though that may not be a given. MLB.com, which ranks Soderstrom as the 19th-best player in this year’s class, notes that he’s “raw in terms of blocking and game management.” But Soderstrom’s a good athlete who can play third base and the outfield, so those factors and his considerable offensive upside suggest he may be able to carve out a successful MLB career even if he doesn’t last as a catcher.