Though four of the top 36 picks in the 2018 Draft failed to sign pro contacts, little drama is expected with this year's crop as the signing deadline approaches this afternoon.
Last year marked the first time since 2010 that three first-rounders went unsigned in a single Draft. Carter Stewart (Braves, No. 8 overall) disputed the results of his post-Draft physical, while Matt McLain (D-backs, No. 25) and J.T. Ginn (Dodgers, No. 30) had above-slot asking prices that their clubs declined to meet. Supplemental first-rounder Gunnar Hoglund (Pirates, No. 36) also had issues with his physical and opted not to accept a reduced offer, marking the first time since 1989 that four of the top 36 selections didn't sign.
As we near today's 5 p.m. ET signing deadline, only four players remain unsigned in the top 10 rounds, with the two highest picks being Marlins. Here's an analysis of the situations with unsigned picks:
Marlins: JJ Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt, first round (No. 4 overall) -- Bleday is the lone unsigned first-rounder, but he is expected to sign for $6,670,000 -- slightly over his $6,664,000 pick value -- later today. He led NCAA Division I with 27 homers and helped the Commodores to their second College World Series championship this spring, and his extended college season is the main reason he hasn't turned pro yet.
Marlins: Kameron Misner, OF, Missouri, Competitive Balance A (No. 35) -- Miami also should land Misner, but may have to exceed his $2,095,800 pick value to do so. Once they sign Bleday, the Marlins will be able to pay Misner roughly $2.55 million without exceeding its bonus pool by more than 5 percent, though they also are expected to use some of their surplus to sign 12th-rounder Chris Mokma, a right-hander from Holland (Mich.) Christian HS. Crossing that 5-percent threshold would cost them a future first-round pick, a penalty no club has been willing to incur since the new Draft rules came into play in 2012.
The other two unsigned players in the first 10 rounds, Rangers seventh-rounder Brandon Sproat and Cubs ninth-rounder Wyatt Hendrie, are likely to spurn pro contracts. A right-hander from Pace (Fla.) High, Sproat is committed to Florida. Hendrie, a catcher from Antelope Valley (Calif.) JC, would play at San Diego State next spring.