Here’s an interesting signing.
The Chicago Cubs have reportedly agreed to terms with their third round selection in the 2013 Draft, Brigham Young center fielder Jacob Hannemann. What was considered at the time of the Draft to be a “value” pick and an easy under slot signing has proved to be a relatively healthy over slot signing. Jim Callis reports that Hannemann’s bonus reached seven figures: a cool $1 million, or $264,000 over the slot value for the Cubs’ third round pick.
Hannemann, 22, was an old freshman at BYU thanks to serving time on a Mormon mission. It didn’t seem to limit his ability, though, because he hit like gangbusters upon his return to baseball. He is also a speedy center fielder with good makeup, so it’s easy to see why the Cubs liked him.
But they liked him to the tune of (1) picking him earlier than most folks expected, and (2) signing him for well over slot.
What does this tell us?
Well, a few things. First, it tells us that when Scouting and Player Development Chief Jason McLeod said Hannemann emerged as a guy the Cubs “just had to have,” he meant that as expressly as possible. Second, it tells us that Hannemann was probably a late riser whom the Cubs didn’t expect to still be on the board come the fourth round, third party projections be damned. Third, it tells us that the Cubs have a great deal of confidence that they’ll sign first round pick Kris Bryant for a fair bit under slot. For reasons I’ll get into tomorrow when I round up where the Cubs’ draft stands financially, the team wouldn’t be inking a flurry of over slot deals, as they reportedly have, unless they knew they were going to have plenty of money to work with – without risking losing future draft picks by spending too much over their allotted bonus pool.
There’s at least one lesson here: while the prevailing thought on a player by the various scouting services might have him pegged for a certain range, that doesn’t necessarily mean MLB teams see him the same way. This is probably especially true for a player like Hannemann, who has a unique history and limited recent playing time.