The Mets announced today that they’ve signed first-round pick Anthony Kay and 11th-round pick Cameron Planck (Twitter link). The team didn’t disclose the bonus information, but MLB.com’s Jim Callis, who first reported the deals (links to Twitter), reported that Kay received a bonus of $1.1MM, which is $872K under slot. The reason for the below-slot deal, per Callis, is likely that Kay’s physical exam raised some concerns about the left-hander’s elbow.
The majority of those savings appear to be going to Planck, according to Callis (Twitter link), who received a bonus of $1,000,001. Players signing after the 10th round do not count against a club’s bonus pool unless the bonus exceeds $100K. As such, $900,001 of Planck’s bonus will count against the Mets’ pool. However, having saved $872,100 on Kay’s bonus, Planck’s deal doesn’t really impact the Mets any more than simply signing Kay at full slot value would have.
Kay, 21, starred at the University of Connecticut and rated within the top 50 on pre-draft rankings of ESPN’s Keith Law (No. 28), Baseball America (No. 35) and Callis and Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com (No. 43). ESPN’s scouting report notes that Kay’s changeup could be the best in this year’s draft class, though Callis and Mayo note that he will at times telegraph the pitch by dropping his arm slot when he throws it. Kay’s fastball sits in the low 90s and reaches 95 mph early in his starts, per BA, who notes that his “wide, sturdy build” offsets some concerns about his height (he’s listed at 6’0″). He’s the second of two first-round Mets selections to sign this year, as New York agreed to terms with Boston College righty Justin Dunn (19th overall) back in mid-June. The Mets picked up the No. 31 overall selection as compensation for the loss of Daniel Murphy to the division rival Nationals after Murphy rejected the club’s qualifying offer.
Planck, meanwhile, rated 228th among draft prospects on BA’s Top 500 list. The high school right-hander out of Kentucky had been committed to Louisville but will instead embark on his pro career. BA praises his physicality and velocity (low 90s fastball that tops out at 95 mph) but raises questions about his mechanics and his inconsistent slider.