The Orioles have reached agreement on a deal with first-round choice Ryan Mountcastle, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com (on Twitter). Mountcastle’s deal is slightly below slot as he’ll make $1.3MM versus the suggested ~$1.71MM. He was advised and is now represented by agent Tripper Johnson of Sosnick Cobbe & Karon.
Mountcastle, a Florida native, played shortstop in high school but projects as a third baseman, according to Callis. The youngster boasts solid bat speed to go with the strong arm necessary for playing the third base position. The Orioles received the pick with which they selected Mountcastle as compensation for the loss of Nelson Cruz to free agency.
Mountcastle ranked as the draft’s No. 108 prospect in the eyes of Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel, 110th on the Top 200 compiled by Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, and 122nd on Baseball America’s Top 500.
Baseball America’s scouting report of Mountcastle credited him for having above-average power and speculated that his defensive shortcomings could result in him playing left field. McDaniel feels he’ll end up in left as well, giving him at least average tools across the board with the exception of in-game power, where he’ll be more fringe-average. Mayo and Callis note that the aforementioned bat speed yields “elite” exit velocity when Mountcastle squares up on a ball.