The Orioles have agreed to a $4.3MM bonus with first-rounder Grayson Rodriguez, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). As expected, per a recent report from Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com, Rodriguez will receive just less than the $4,375,100 bonus pool allocation that comes with the 11th overall pick that the Baltimore used to select him.
Entering the draft, evaluators saw Rodriguez as a clear first-round talent, but graded him just outside the top twenty or so draft-eligible prospects. But the O’s did not feel they were settling for the young right-hander.
Indeed, scouting director Gary Rajsich was effusive in his comments on the team’s top incoming amateur player. “We love him and we were just thrilled he was there for us at pick 11,” said Rajsich, who credited Rodriguez for possessing “a unique combination of power and polish.
Independent prospect rankings just aren’t quite as smitten, clearly, which makes Rodriguez all the more interesting to track as he enters the professional ranks. While the differences are in large part matters of degree and emphasis, there’s a split of opinion.
ESPN.com’s Keith Law, who ranked Rodriguez 22nd on his board, wrote: “[Rodriguez] has more effort in his delivery, and there’s at least a little concern that his trouble repeating it will eventually point him to the bullpen. He also hasn’t shown much of a third pitch to date.” Rajsich, meanwhile, says that his club’s new power arm comes with “advanced command of four pitches” and an “advanced delivery that he can repeat.”
O’s second-rounder Cadyn Grenier is also nearing a deal, Melewski adds. He, too, is expected to come in just under his slot value ($1,923,500).