Eight of the 40 players selected by the Red Sox in this year’s Major League Baseball Draft are officially in the fold, including the organization’s top pick.
Boston announced its initial batch of signings on Thursday, including first-round choice Triston Casas. The Florida high school product was convinced to break his college commitment with the University of Miami, inking a deal that contains a signing bonus of $2,552,800.
A hard-hitting corner infielder who played third base this season, Casas prepped at the same American Heritage School that produced current San Diego first baseman Eric Hosmer. The dollar amount required to secure his signature represents full slot value for the No. 26 overall pick, a significant chunk of the overall bonus pool available to the Red Sox.
“It was kind of evident that I wanted to get drafted, and playing baseball is something that I want to do for a living,” Casas said on June 4, the first of the draft’s three days. “The quicker that I get it started, the better. I didn’t really tell scouts or anybody that I was leaning one way.”
College players made up Boston’s seven other signings, including four seniors who had exhausted their eligibility. Dallas Baptist outfielder Devlin Granberg (sixth round), North Carolina State left-handed pitcher Brian Brown (ninth), Kennesaw State second baseman Grant Williams (10th) and Seton Hall right-handed pitcher Andrew Politi (15th) will all continue their respective careers as professionals. Three juniors opted to forgo their final college seasons, with TCU right-handed pitcher Durbin Feltman (third), Long Beach State second baseman Jarren Duran (seventh) and Texas State second baseman Jonathan Ortega (19th) also signing on Thursday.
Per MLB.com, the Red Sox held a bonus pool of $5,723,300 to allocate among their 40 selections. That makes the leverage held over college seniors significant, something Boston and other franchises are ready to use at will. Granberg signed for a reported $40,000, well below his suggested slot value of $241,600.
Eight of the top 15 players selected by the Red Sox could be playing college baseball next season, including second-round pick Nick Decker. The New Jersey high school outfielder and Maryland commit is likely to be among those offered something over slot value by Boston thanks to its savings elsewhere. Decker, Ohio high school pitcher/third baseman Nicholas Northcut and LSU outfielder Zach Watson, all rated in the pre-draft top 100 by MLB.com, are among the 32 remaining unsigned Red Sox picks.