The Royals and their first pick of the 2014 draft, Brandon Finnegan, have come to terms. The deal will pay him the full slot value of $2,200,600 aka life changing money. he's the first left handed pitcher the Royals have taken in the first since 2004.
Finnegan was the #17 overall pick in this year Rule 4 draft. He was ranked the #15 draft prospect by MLB, #18 by Baseball America, and #24 by Keith Law.
Finnegan is coming off a very strong Junior season. He finished the year with a 105.2 IP 2.04 ERA with 134 strikeouts and 29 walks. Finnegan's 134 strikeouts lead to a 11.41 K/9 which was 2nd most in all of college baseball and just .15 K/9 behind Kyle Freeland of Evansville.
Finnegan's repertoire features a plus-fastball that sits 93-95 and a plus-slider with a hard bite. His third pitch is an average changeup. Finnegan missed some time in April due to a stiff shoulder. Reports that Finnegan's MRI was clean and TCU was being cautious with him.
We live in a great new age where draftees are signing at a quicker rate thanks to the new draft rules. Rather than having to wait until late August for some to sign the deadline has been moved up to July 18th. Finnegan could have perhaps signed earlier, but his TCU team was playing in the College World Series until being eliminated by Virginia and Ole Miss.
Finnegan was strong in the playoffs for TCU as he pitched in 3 games with results of:
Virginia - 8.0IP 9H 2ER 2BB 5K
Pepperdine - 6.1IP 3H 2ER 2BB 7K
Siena - 7.1IP 4H 1ER 1BB 12K
In his introduction press conference this afternoon Finnegan has stated "bull dog" type pitchers as David Price and CJ Wilson. Finnegan also thinks that all three of his pitches are out pitches for him and that he could compete in the major leagues today. KC Star report Andy McCullough asked Dayton Moore of he agreed, Dayton responded that they took him in the first round didn't they.
Royals Director of Scouting Lonnie Goldberg has said that Finnegan will report to High A Wilmington soon. He'll have a week to ten days of side sessions and prep work before making his pro debut.
His reporting to Wilmington may bring a shuffle in the roster for the Blue Rocks as they will have Miguel Almonte, Christian Binford, Sean Manaea, Daniel Stumpf, Glenn Sparkman, Johnathan Dziedzic, and now Brandon Finnegan as rotation pieces.