LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers signed their top three draft picks plus some others before Friday’s deadline to officially bring 2017 MLB Draft selections into the fold.
First-round pick Jeren Kendall, an outfielder out of Vanderbilt, was the big fish, signing for $2.9 million, per both Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline. That is almost $200,000 over his allotted slot value of $2,702,700 for the 23rd overall pick in the draft.
Our David Hood ranked Kendall as his third-best prospect in the draft, liking the power-speed combo.
“A twitchy athlete, Kendall has outstanding power production for an up the middle player and presently grades above average in raw power,” Hood wrote in his profile of Kendall. “His plus bat speed and the impact he can put on the baseball should make him productive offensively even with some contact concerns.”
The Dodgers saved some money on second-round pitcher Morgan Cooper out of Texas, signing him for $870,000 — per Callis — with a slot value of $1,018,200, while third-round pick Connor Wong, an athletic multi-position catcher out of Houston, signed for $550,000 — per Callis — slightly above his $537,100 slot.
The club also signed 11th-round pick Jacob Amaya, a shortstop out of South Hills High School in West Covina. He got a bonus of $247,500, per Callis, of which $122,500 counted toward the Dodgers’ total.
Any bonus amounts over $125,000 for picks after the 10th round count against the signing pool, and the Dodgers had to pony up to keep Amaya away from Cal State Fullerton. Amaya was one of just five high school players drafted by the Dodgers this year.
official. Thank you @Dodgers pic.twitter.com/EfBuKw0Gkc— Jacob Amaya❄️ (@JacobAmaya3) July 7, 2017
The club also signed 17th-round Nathan Witt, a draft-eligible sophomore right-handed pitcher out of Michigan State, and 20th-round outfielder Donovan Casey out of Boston College.
Happy to announce I signed with the @Dodgers! Can't thank MSU enough for allowing me to wear the Green and White. Can't wait to get to work! pic.twitter.com/K7xjzsKy4W— Nathan Witt (@NathanWittt) July 7, 2017
In all, the Dodgers signed 33 of their 40 picks, including each of the top 13.
Given the reported bonuses are $141,300 over their allotted bonus pool of $5,794,200, or 2.43%. They have to pay a 75-percent tax on the overage amount, but as long as they don’t go five percent over slot — so, $289,709 or less — they will not have to forfeit any future draft picks.
That means they had roughly $148,409 to play with in over-slot money to sign the others inked before the 2 p.m. PT deadline.