Since Major League Baseball moved to the bonus pool system, the players who have been drafted in the top 10 rounds, by and large, have signed. Sure, there have been exceptions over the years, but they have been few and far between. The expectation is the vast majority of the
Since Major League Baseball moved to the bonus pool system, the players who have been drafted in the top 10 rounds, by and large, have signed. Sure, there have been exceptions over the years, but they have been few and far between. The expectation is the vast majority of the 314 players taken on Days 1 and 2 of this year's Draft will begin their pro careers.
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Day 2 has followed a certain discernible pattern in the new system. There are always some high-end high school players who are perceived to be tough signs who don't go on the first night, but if their names are called early in the third or fourth round, they've gotten large, often seven-figure, bonuses to walk away from their college commitments. This year was no different, but it's not only those sure-to-be over-slot prepsters who popped out as interesting names taken in Rounds 3-10 on Tuesday. Here are 10 of the most interesting players taken on Day 2, in alphabetical order:
:: 2018 Draft coverage ::
Tristan Beck, RHP, Stanford (4th round, Braves): Beck didn't pitch in 2017 as a Draft-eligible sophomore because of a stress fracture in his back, though some thought he was going to get drafted early enough to sign anyway. Instead he headed back to Stanford and had a solid, and more importantly, healthy season. Perhaps the medical reports troubled some, but he was ranked as a potential Day 1 selection. More >
Kody Clemens, 2B, Texas (3rd round, Tigers): He might be the best of Roger Clemens' sons when all is said and done, and is coming off of a big season at Texas, earning Big 12 Player of the Year honors and the first selection of Day 2 as a result. He's a hard-nosed second baseman with some pop, with some similarities to the son of another former great, Cavan Biggio, who is now raking in Double-A for the Blue Jays. More >
Jawuan Harris, OF, Rutgers (7th round, Padres): Kyler Murray created a huge buzz when he was taken No. 9 overall by the A's on Monday. Harris doesn't have Murray's football future or his 2018 performance on the diamond, but he did play both sports at Rutgers and brings plus athleticism and raw tools to the game. There's a ton of upside here to tap into, giving a lot of value to a later-round pick.
Tyler Holton, LHP, Florida State (9th round, D-backs): Holton pitched one game before blowing out in 2018, and that by itself makes his selection in the top 10 rounds interesting. He needed Tommy John surgery, but the D-backs are banking on the guy who put up tremendous numbers (2.44 career ERA, 10.99 K/9) his first two years in the ACC will come back full force once he's healthy.
Levi Kelly, RHP, IMG Academy, Florida (8th round, D-backs): One of a couple of intriguing high school picks that feel more like they should've landed in the third or fourth round. Kelly has arm strength, with a fastball up to 95 mph, with secondary stuff that will need work. Signing him away from his LSU commitment will be a real coup for Arizona.
Adam Kloffenstein, RHP, Magnolia HS, Texas (3rd round, Blue Jays): The first of the high school selections who fit the third-round over-pick value category, Kloffenstein had a commitment to TCU. His combination of size, stuff and athleticism made him an intriguing prep pitching prospect, one who will likely join his high school teammate, and Toronto first-round pick, Jordan Groshans, in the organization. More >
Bryce Montes de Oca, RHP, Missouri (9th round, Mets): As enigmatic as they come, Montes de Oca has Tommy John surgery and ulnar nerve transposition on his medical history. But he also has a heavy sinking fastball that touches triple digits along with a wipeout slider. In a bullpen, he could get to New York in a hurry.
Dominic Pipkin, RHP, Pinole Valley HS, California (9th round, Phillies): Another high school arm who feels like a third- or fourth-rounder, it seems like he was a potential pick for a few teams late, so the Phillies feel fortunate to get his upside when they did. Last year, there were a number of over-pick value deals in Rounds 8-10, so it's not unheard of.
Mike Siani, OF, William Penn Charter School, Pennsylvania (4th round, Reds): Siani is committed to Virginia, where he could potentially play two ways as a toolsy outfielder and a left-handed pitcher with velocity up to 93 mph on the mound. Cincinnati will have to save money elsewhere, but look for the Reds to make it work and add another potentially exciting up-the-middle player to their system.
Hugh Smith, RHP, Whitworth College (6th round, Tigers): Normally, a Division III pitcher taken in the sixth round wouldn't garner much attention, but Smith's story is too good to pass up. A non-descript right-hander when he first began college, he's grown 7 inches to his current 6-foot-10 and has gone from throwing in the low-80s to touching 97 mph with his fastball.
There's a lot more drafting action to come, with Rounds 11-40 coming live on MLB.com starting at noon ET on Wednesday. And there's sure to be more interesting names selected. Pick value for all of these selections is set at $125,000 and anything up to that amount won't count against a team's bonus pool. Anything over does impact that pool. There will certainly be some players taken, typically in the 11th or 12th round, who might have seemed unsignable by this point, but could end up deciding to start their pro careers. It's a low-risk move for teams because if they can't sign these players, it does not impact the bonus pools for the top 10 rounds at all.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.