The Royals are rebuilding, and the 41 baseball players they selected in the June draft last week will be a big part of that. Many will begin their professional careers, although some will forego signing in order to return to college, or to begin their college careers, in the hopes of improving their draft stock. Over 80% of the draft picks in the first 20 rounds typically sign, although that drops off quite a bit in later rounds.
Already there are reports the Royals have signed first-round pick Bobby Witt, Jr. to a full-slot deal, although the Royals deny those reports. But what does it mean to sign a pick to “full-slot”?
In 2012, MLB introduced draft bonus pools as a way of limiting the rise in bonuses given to drafted player. Each slot in the first ten rounds of the draft is assigned a bonus value. Each team can add all those values into one big pool - the Royals have the third-highest pool courtesy of picking so high in the draft. Teams can allocate their pool money however they see fit, with some picks getting more than their assigned slot value, but that means another pick will have to get less than slot to offset that bonus and keep the team under the pool threshold. Teams can go over their assigned pool, but if they do they are penalized, as explained by Jim Callis at MLB.com.
If a team exceeds its assigned pool, it faces a penalty. Teams that outspend their allotment by 0-5 percent pay a 75 percent tax on the overage. At higher thresholds, clubs lose future picks: a first-rounder and a 75 percent tax for surpassing their pool by more than 5 and up to 10 percent; a first- and a second-rounder and a 100 percent tax for more than 10 and up to 15 percent; and two first-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 15 percent.
After the first ten rounds, all players have an assigned value of $125,000. If any player gets a bonus higher than that, it must come out of the assigned draft pool of the first ten rounds. No subsequent draft pick can offset that bonus by taking an underslot bonus.
So you may see teams select quite a few college seniors with underwhelming results in the first ten rounds. These players are expected to take underslot deals to allow teams to sign other players for overslot deals. College senior have little leverage, and many of these players would otherwise not receive much of a bonus.
In addition to Witt, a number of other Royals draftees have appeared to sign, according to their social media.
View this post on Instagram
In the 6th grade, a girl named Emma Yuseff asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up and I said be a professional baseball player. Her response was “That will never happen”. So, Emma Yuseff.... This one is for you. I just want to thank the Kansas City Royals for giving me the opportunity in the 3rd round. Thank you to the city of Corvallis and Beaver Nation for the best three years of my life! #FeelinRoyal #Royalty #GoBeavs
Officially apart of the Kansas City Royals Organization! Thank you to every single person who has helped me along the way. Thank you especially to my family, coaches, @clrockscorp , teammates, and friends! Excited to start this crazy journey! Let the grind begin pic.twitter.com/UTZ3wUNsLX— John Rave (@john_rave) June 10, 2019
Thank you to everyone who reached out to me over the last few days. I would not be in this position without the support from my family, friends, teammates and coaches I’ve had. Thank you to all of you! I can’t wait to start my professional career with the Royals! pic.twitter.com/HZRuvhkuld— Anthony Veneziano (@Antveneziano) June 10, 2019
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who reached out to me over the last few days. I couldn’t be in this position without the support from my family, friends, teammates and coaches I’ve had. Thank you to all of you! I’m excited to start my professional career with the Royals! pic.twitter.com/8XVgMbkdlE— Vinnie Pasquantino (@VPasquantino) June 10, 2019
We’ll be tracking and updating all the signings and bonus amounts right here. Let us know if you see one we missed.
Royals 2019 draft class and bonus amounts
|1||3||Bobby Witt, Jr.||SS||Colleyville HS (TX)||$7,789,900||$7,789,900||$0|
|2||44||Brady McConnell||SS||University of Florida||$1,689,500||$2,222,450||$532,950|
|2||70||Alec Marsh||RHP||Arizona State University||$906,800||$904,300||-$2,500|
|3||80||Grant Gambrell||RHP||Oregon State University||$767,800||$647,500||-$120,300|
|4||109||Michael Massey||2B||University of Illinois||$533,000||$472,500||-$60,500|
|5||139||John Rave||CF||Illinois State University||$398,000||$297,500||-$100,500|
|6||169||Dante Biasi||LHP||Penn State University||$299,000||$247,500||-$51,500|
|7||199||Noah Murdock||RHP||University of Virginia||$233,000||$230,500||-$2,500|
|8||229||Drew Parrish||LHP||Florida State University||$184,700||$184,700||$0|
|9||259||Clay Dungan||SS||Indiana State University||$158,600||$2,500||-$156,100|
|10||289||Anthony Veneziano||LHP||Coastal Carolina University||$147,700||$122,500||-$25,200|
|11||319||Vinnie Pasquantino||1B||Old Dominion University||$125,000||Signed|
|12||349||Adam Lukas||RHP||University of Evansville||$125,000||Signed|
|13||379||Tyler Tolbert||SS||University of Alabama-Birmingham||$125,000||Signed|
|15||439||Sean Bretz||RHP||University of Houston||$125,000|
|16||469||Erick Figueroa||RHP||Juan Jose Maunez HS (PR)||$125,000|
|17||499||A.J. Franklin||LHP||Vanderbilt University||$125,000|
|18||529||Burle Dixon||OF||Cosumnes River College||$125,000||Signed|
|20||589||Cody Davenport||RHP||University of Central Arkansas||$125,000||Signed|
|21||619||Matthew Stil||RHP||Rowan College at Gloucester County||$125,000||Signed|
|22||649||Jake Means||3B||Indiana State University||$125,000||Signed|
|23||679||Elliot Anderson||LHP||Auburn University||$125,000||Signed|
|24||709||Alex Smith||LHP||University of Memphis||$125,000||Signed|
|25||739||Josh Broughton||3B||Valdosta State University||$125,000||Signed|
|26||769||Jay Charleston||OF||University of Tennessee||$125,000||Signed|
|27||799||Zack Phillips||LHP||University of Mississippi||$125,000||Signed|
|28||829||Riley Boyd||RHP||Jefferson College||$125,000|
|29||859||Jon Beymer||RHP||Wabash Valley College||$125,000|
|30||889||Jimmy Govern||2B||Eastern Illinois University||$125,000||Signed|
|31||919||Mikey Filia||CF||University of California-Irvine||$125,000||Signed|
|33||979||Patrick Smith||LHP||Purdue University||$125,000||Signed|
|34||1009||Justin Fall||RHP||Brookdale Community College||$125,000|
|35||1039||Jonah Dipoto||P||University of California-San Diego||$125,000||Signed|
|36||1069||Andy Martin||CF||Hialeah Senior HS (FL)||$125,000|
|37||1099||Reggie Crawford||RHP||North Schuylkill HS (PA)||$125,000|
|39||1159||Jorge Corona||C||Miami Killian HS (FL)||$125,000|
|40||1189||David Estevez||RHP||Pembroke Pines Charter HS (FL)||$125,000|