The Royals have signed second-round draft pick Ben Kudrna for a $3MM signing bonus, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com (Twitter link). That’s nearly double the $1.7298MM slot value associated with the 43rd overall selection.
Kansas City managed to meet the LSU commit’s asking price thanks to their underslot agreement with first-rounder Frank Mozzicato. The Royals inked Mozzicato to a $3.55MM bonus last weekend, nearly $2MM south of the slot value accompanying the #7 pick — an unsurprising development since most public evaluators projected the lefty as a late first round talent. By taking Mozzicato and Kudrna, the Royals elected to divide the bulk of their bonus pool nearly equally to a pair off well-regarded prep pitchers, rather than locking in on one blue chip prospect at the top of the class.
As their similar bonuses indicate, Mozzicato and Kudrna are seen by public evaluators as being a similar caliber of prospect. (Keith Law of the Athletic actually had Kudrna slightly ahead of Mozzicato on his pre-draft rankings). Law, Baseball America and Eric Longenhagen and Kevin Goldstein of FanGraphs all placed Kudrna between 40th and 60th in this year’s class. By all accounts, the Kansas righty’s a fairly prototypical high school projection arm with a good frame and delivery, low-90s velocity, and the makings of a pair of quality secondary pitches.