2011 MLB Draft Signing Update

As I tweeted Saturday night, it looks like ninth round pick Jonas Dufek will sign and head to Tri-City. No official word on that and I'm still waiting to confirm this. If he is indeed signing, that makes seven of the Astros top 10 signed less than a week after the draft began. Two of the remaining unsigned picks cannot sign yet because they are still playing in the Super Regionals, though George Springer may sign quickly now that his team has been eliminated by South Carolina.

If you're wondering what it'll take to get third round pick Jack Armstrong signed, let's look at the recommended slot for this season. It should be somewhere around $350,000, but history shows the Astros are willing to go over that figure. In 2008, they signed Ross Seaton for $700,000 in the third round and in 2010, they signed Austin Wates for $550,000. The only player to get close to slot recommendation under Bobby Heck in the third round was Telvin Nash, who got $330,000 in 2009. I wouldn't expect Armstrong to push for a million, but his bonus may end up between Wates' and Seaton's.

It also appears that seventh round pick Javaris Reynolds will sign, but he hasn't yet. It'll be interesting to see if he goes to Greeneville this summer. That automatically becomes a very interesting outfield with him and Ovando in it, if that does happen.

I'm still a bit mystified about why 13th round pick John Hinson got "a lot more than 13th round money." Yes, he had a good year at Clemson, but was there really a sentiment that he should have gone higher, or was capable of going higher next year? I think the extra money was probably to get him to sign, since he turned down 13th round money last season from the Phillies. But, how much more? Will the next Eric Bruntlett or Jeff Keppinger be worth over slot in the 13th round? (I'm being kind listing those as comps, since Hinson hasn't shown he can play short. Maybe Matt Downs is a better comparison).

14th rounder Gandy Stubblefield is the highest unsigned player after those three in the top 10. He's also made quite a bit of noise about honoring his commitment to Texas A&M, though I wonder if the Astros are willing to offer him "more than 14th round money," if that will change his mind. Maybe they should also show him the medicals on John Stilson, Barret Loux and Alex Wilson, too.

We talked about it a bit on the podcast, and I know you all discussed in the comments, but what a fall from grace for Chase Davidson. The Astros obviously liked him and kept following him, but to go from the third round in high school to the 41st round this year is pretty bad. He's signed now and will play in the system finally, but he has to be disappointed a little bit. Davidson profiles as a three-true-outcomes guy, with 50 strikeouts this season in college and seven home runs to lead the Georgia team. But, the thing that surprised me was his stats were not dissimilar to teammate Zach Cone, who went in the first round of this draft. I guess fielding versatility is always the key.

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