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Astros agree to terms with trio of early Draft picks

OF Dawson, C Rogers, 3B Toro-Hernandez reach deals, pending physicals
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

HOUSTON -- Three of the Astros' top picks from the 2016 MLB Draft told MLB.com on Sunday that they had reached deals with the team and were set to sign contracts, including second-round pick Ronnie Dawson (outfielder from Ohio State) and third-round pick Jake Rogers (catcher from Tulane).

Meanwhile, Abraham Toro-Hernandez, a third baseman from Seminole State College in Oklahoma who went to the Astros in the fifth round, told MLB.com on Sunday he had also agreed to a deal. The Astros don't announce deals with Draft picks until they complete their physicals and sign contracts.

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HOUSTON -- Three of the Astros' top picks from the 2016 MLB Draft told MLB.com on Sunday that they had reached deals with the team and were set to sign contracts, including second-round pick Ronnie Dawson (outfielder from Ohio State) and third-round pick Jake Rogers (catcher from Tulane).

Meanwhile, Abraham Toro-Hernandez, a third baseman from Seminole State College in Oklahoma who went to the Astros in the fifth round, told MLB.com on Sunday he had also agreed to a deal. The Astros don't announce deals with Draft picks until they complete their physicals and sign contracts.

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:: Complete 2016 Draft coverage ::

Dawson, who hits left-handed, batted .331 with 25 doubles, three triples, 13 homers and 51 RBIs and struck out only 43 times in 257 at-bats this year for the Buckeyes. He stole 21 of 25 bases and had a .419 on-base percentage.

Dawson said he's headed to Houston on Thursday to sign a contract. His deal, according to a source, is for $1,056,800, exactly the assigned pick value.

"I'm real excited," he said. "I'm ready to get the deal done and get ready to play."

Rogers hit .261 with seven homers and 28 RBIs in 61 games for the Green Wave this year, but he's known for his arm and his quick release. In 2016, he threw out 27 of 43 attempted basestealers (63 percent) and had 83 caught stealing for his career. In the Cape Cod League last year, he threw out 15 of 21.

Video: Draft 2016: Astros draft C Jake Rogers No. 97

Rogers, who agreed to a full-slot bonus value of $614,000, said he was heading to Houston on Tuesday to sign.

"I'm excited, man," he said. "I'm ready to get down there and start the new journey and continue the dream and keep playing baseball."

Toro-Hernandez, who was born in Montreal to Venezuelan parents, is a switch-hitter who hit .439 with 20 homers, 86 RBIs and 94 runs scored in 55 games last season for Seminole State and has a cannon for an arm. His college coach believes he could be a big league catcher, but the Astros say they want him to play third base.

"I'm pretty excited to start my pro career, and I just decided a couple of hours ago," said Toro-Hernandez. "I'm going to sign when I go to Florida and have a physical in a couple of days."

Video: 2016 Draft: MLB.com looks at the Astros' picks

Toro-Hernandez is one of three players the Astros took from Seminole State, a junior college, joining 20th-round pick Louis-Philippe Pelletier (second baseman) and 30th-rounder Ian Hardman (right-hander).

"I had the chance to talk to with them, and it's unbelievable -- two of my teammates, the same team," Toro-Hernandez said.

Three Draft picks told MLB.com on Saturday they had reached deals with the Astros: eighth-round pick Nick Hernandez (right-handed pitcher from Houston), ninth-round pick Ryan Hartman (left-handed pitcher from Tennessee Wesleyan) and 10th-round pick Dustin Hunt (right-handed pitcher from Northeastern).

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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