The Red Sox agreed to deals with their top two draft choices Friday afternoon, reports Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline (Twitter links). 14th overall pick Kyle Teel received an even $4MM signing bonus against a $4.66MM slot value, while second-rounder Nazzan Zanetello landed a well above-slot $3MM figure.
Teel, 21, was viewed as the top catcher in this year’s college class. He was the second backstop off the board after Kansas City took high schooler Blake Mitchell eighth overall. Teel ranked in the back half of the top 10 on pre-draft rankings at The Athletic, ESPN, Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. That made it a bit surprising he fell to Boston at 14 and the underslot signing figure most closely aligns with the slot value for the 18th selection.
A left-handed hitter, Teel put up a .407/.475/.655 line during his final season at the University of Virginia. He hit 25 doubles and 13 home runs with a modest 12.1% strikeout rate over 297 trips to the plate. He earned the ACC Player of the Year award as a result. Evaluators credit him with a well-rounded skillset headlined by excellent athleticism for a catcher and plus arm strength.
Zanetello, a Missouri high school infielder, was selected 50th overall. That selection has a slot value of $1.7MM, which the Sox handily exceeded to sign him away from the University of Arkansas. A right-handed hitting infielder, Zanetello ranked as high as 33rd on Keith Law’s pre-draft list at The Athletic but was outside the Top 100 at Baseball America. Evaluators praise his bat speed and athleticism but raised questions about the amount of swing-and-miss in his game.