MIAMI -- The Marlins have reached agreement with Vanderbilt outfielder JJ Bleday, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2019 MLB Draft, according to a source. His bonus will be $6,670,000, $6,000 over the slot value, MLB.com's Jim Callis reported.
Negotiations also are progressing with Missouri outfielder Kameron Misner, the 35th overall pick, and a deal is expected to be finalized before Friday’s 5 p.m. ET deadline to sign all Draft picks. Misner was a Competitive Balance Round A choice.
The Marlins have not confirmed either deal.
Barring anything unforeseen, adding Bleday and Misner will infuse two impactful left-handed hitters into Miami’s organization. Both have advanced approaches and could move quickly through the system.
Bleday is coming off a national championship season with Vanderbilt, and his pending signing has been expected since the Marlins selected him on June 3. But at the time he was picked, Vanderbilt was advancing through Super Regional play and eventually the College World Series, where the Commodores took two of three from Michigan.
Bleday likely will see some time in the Gulf Coast League, but could be moved quickly to Class A Advanced Jupiter.
Bleday made his presence felt at one of the top programs in the nation. Across the board, the 21-year-old delivered impressive statistics in 2019. In his junior season in 2019, Bleday led the nation with 27 home runs, and he added 72 RBIs. He had a slash line of .347/.465/.701.
With his professional career about to begin, Bleday will be using wood bats exclusively, although he does have experience using them. Last year, in the wood-bat Cape Cod League, Bleday hit .311 with five home runs and 15 RBIs in 36 games.
Bleday is the first collegiate player the Marlins have selected in the first round since going with former North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran (now with the Pirates), with the sixth overall pick in 2013.
Misner, like Bleday, was a standout in the Southeastern Conference. The recommended slot for the No. 35 pick is $2,095,800. Misner is expected to get at least that figure, if not more.