On a day loaded with first-round signings, the Padres have become the latest team to reach a deal with their top pick. The Padres announced that they’ve come to terms with outfielder Robert Hassell III, the eighth overall selection in this year’s draft. Hassell will earn $4.3MM, down from the $5,176,900 slot value of his pick, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The 18-year-old Hassell committed to Vanderbilt before the draft, but the Padres managed to stop the Commodores from landing a highly promising prospect. MLB.com, FanGraphs, Baseball America, ESPN.com and The Athletic all ranked Hassell in the draft’s top 20 prospects entering the proceedings. Nobody was more bullish than ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, who ranked Hassell sixth of those available, wrote that he may “have the best hit tool in the prep class” and noted that he has drawn comparisons to high-end Braves outfield prospect Drew Waters.