The Pirates have signed supplemental first-round pick Carmen Mlodzinski and second-round selection Jared Jones, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com (Twitter links). Mlodzinski receives a $2.05MM bonus that comes in a bit shy of his $2.31MM slot value at No. 31, while Jones’ $2.2MM bonus trounces his No. 44 selection’s $1.689MM slot value. Jones’ agreement was initially reported a couple weeks back, but his bonus wasn’t known until today.
Mlodzinski, 21, didn’t post gaudy numbers in his freshman or sophomore year at South Carolina — a broken foot wiped out much of his sophomore campaign — but he tore through the Cape Cod League last summer. Encouragingly, he continued those gains early in 2020 before the NCAA season was halted. In 54 2/3 innings between the Cape and his early 2020 showing, he posted a combined 2.47 ERA with a 62-to-12 K/BB ratio.
MLB.com rated Mlodzinski as the No. 21 player in this year’s draft, and Baseball America wasn’t far behind at No. 25. He fell within the top 50 players on the lists from FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel and The Athletic’s Keith Law, too. He’s still relatively new to pitching, having played infield until his senior year of high school, Law notes. Mlodzinski sits in the mid-90s with a heavy sinker that induces plenty of grounders, and he reached the upper 90s last summer in the Cape Cod League. Reports on his secondary pitches are more mixed, but he’s seen as a potential mid-rotation arm.
Jones, a high schooler out of California, is a two-way player who’s more highly regarded as a pitcher. Baseball America ranked him 41st in the class and noted that he has an 80-grade arm from the outfield but was a borderline first-round talent as a pitcher. MLB.com writes that his future is “definitely” on the mound, touting a 96-97 mph heater and a slider that looks to be an above-average offering as well. He’d been committed to Texas but will instead turn pro.