Although there are rumors out there about other signings, there are three reported 2015 draft signings about which to alert you:
- 5th Round: LHP Ryan Kellogg, ASU (Junior) – $376,000 bonus ($376,000 slot value)
- 7th Round: RHP Craig Brooks, Catawba College (Senior) – $5,000 bonus ($211,300 slot value)
- 10th Round: SS Vimael Machin, VCU (Senior) – $2,000 bonus ($152,000 slot value)
You can see the short write-up on each player from Day Two of the draft, and read more about each player at Baseball America (which also has the bonus values for Brooks and Machin; Kellogg’s bonus was reported by the Toronto Sun, among others).
Kellogg was a fairly well-known pitching prospect coming out of Canada back in 2012, and was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 12th round. He instead opted to go to USC, where he shined early in his career, but never quite took a step forward. You wonder if the Cubs believe, given the raw material – tall, athletic body, low-90s fastball from a lefty – they can coach him up a little more than he was getting at ASU. He’s got four useable pitches, so Kellogg figures to remain a starting pitcher in the Cubs’ system for as long as the potential there remains. In a draft that saw the Cubs take two college hitters in the first two rounds, a high school lefty in the third, and a high school outfielder in the fourth, Kellogg may actually be the Cubs’ best bet for a starting pitching prospect to emerge from this draft within the next year.
Brooks discussed his signing process here with the Salisbury Post, which provides an inside look at what it’s like for senior signs who are desired by many teams, but not quite enough to be taken early or paid slot. He was a two-way player in college, and overwhelmed lesser competition on the pitching side despite being under 6 feet tall. Perhaps switching to the mound full-time will help bring out even more.
Machin was simply great at VCU for four years, and BA believes he could be one of the better senior signs in the draft, with utility player upside (that may not sound like much, but for a $2,000 senior sign, that would be a tremendously positive outcome).
Coupled with the $351,000 the Cubs reportedly saved on the Ian Happ signing, their bonus pool savings through four signings is up to $707,300. If the Cubs sign all of their first 10 picks, they’ll also be able to utilize about $360,000 in overage without losing a future draft pick.
In other words, the Cubs presently have a little over $1 million to work with to sign guys who’ll require more than slot, and that’s before factoring in the seniors selected in the 6th, 8th, and 9th rounds (as well as the slim chance that the Cubs saved something on second rounder Donnie Dewees, too), which could push that number closer to $1.3 to $1.5 million. You can expect that third rounder Bryan Hudson and fourth rounder D.J. Wilson will require over slot bonuses to sign, but even if each gets $1 million, the Cubs could still have something in the $500,000-$600,000 range to work with on other over slot types after the 10th round.
If you’re into the rumoring about draft signings, by the way, you should check out this Chicago Cubs draft tracker. If there’s anything really juicy on the rumor side, I’m sure I’ll write about it, but I tend to stick a little closer to sure-thing reports and official announcements from the Cubs. If that’s not enough for you – and, speaking as a fan, it’s not enough for me, either – that tracker is where you want to be.