With the 2013 Draft in the rearview mirror, and short season ball just about to get underway, you’re going to see a large number of the “easier to sign” college players inking deals with the Cubs this week and promptly heading out to Arizona to start transitioning into their career as professionals.
Word of two such signings has already emerged, as the Cubs have reportedly agreed to a deal with 14th round pick Daniel Poncedeleon, as well as 30th round pick Zak Hermans.
The reports? Well, it’s 2013, so the reports are pictures of the pitchers signing their contracts, tweeted by the pitchers themselves. Internetz!
Poncedeleon was a top 500 draft prospect to Baseball America (322), and there’s a lot of projection there. He didn’t have a great junior season at Houston – 4.47 ERA over 86.2 innings, striking out 62 and walking 34 – but scouts dig the upside. He reportedly signed for $100,000, which is the top amount a team can give a pick after the 10th round without the overage counting against the draft bonus pool. In other words, it’s a healthy bonus.
Hermans, a senior at Princeton, was all-universe in the Ivy League during his four-year career, twice an all-league performer, and the league’s pitcher of the year in 2012. He put up a 2.40 ERA over 56.1 innings this year, striking out 55 and walking just 12.
Hermans is headed to Arizona for now, and says it’s undetermined yet whether he’ll stay there for rookie league or if he’ll head up to Boise for short season Low-A. Presumably, Poncedeleon will be doing the same thing, with the same decision to be made.
Of note: Poncedeleon was on the Conference USA All-Academic Team for 2013, and Hermans went to Princeton. These are smart dudes, if nothing else.