The Padres have signed second round draft pick James Wood to a $2.6MM signing bonus, reports Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune. That’s well north of the $1.1027MM slot value associated with the #62 overall selection.
In fact, Wood’s bonus comes in higher than that of first rounder Jackson Merrill, who inked a $1.8MM deal last night. A lefty-hitting outfielder from a Florida academy, Wood is seen as one of the more high-variance prospects in this year’s class. Baseball America slotted Wood the #35 prospect in their pre-draft rankings, pointing to his elite raw power and surprising athleticism for his size (listed at 6’6″, 230) in lauding his upside. BA notes there’s plenty of trepidation about Wood’s swing-and-miss tendencies, though, and he was rated lower on the rankings of Kiley McDaniel of ESPN (51st) and Keith Law of the Athletic (outside the top 101).
San Diego’s placing a substantial bet on Wood’s physical gifts. The overslot bonus will buy him away from his commitment to Mississippi State University.