Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle broke the new this morning that the No. 41 overall pick in this draft, Florida high school right-hander Lance McCullers, Jr., was heading to Houston to take a physical. That was in preparation for a possible contract agreement between McCullers and the Astros.
Jim Callis followed up on it, saying that McCullers has indeed signed and he did it for $2.5 million. Which is about the range we speculated it would take to get him signed back when he was drafted.
McCullers was the Gatorade Player of the Year this season, posting an ERA under 1.00 while anchoring his Tampa high school's staff. Through most of our reports recently, it sounds like he's made progress this season and could conceivably stick in the starting rotation for the Astros.
With this signing, Houston is now $1.2 million under their draft signing pool, still needing to sign second-rounder Nolan Fontana, fourth-rounder Rio Ruiz, seventh-rounder Preston Tucker and eighth-rounder Tyler Heineman. Fontana is a junior, so he'll likely sign for close to his $800,000 slot, which leaves Houston possibly $1.5-$1.8 million to play around with to get Ruiz, 11th rounder Hunter Virant or 26th rounder C.J. Hinojosa signed.
To put that in perspective, McCullers signed for the slot recommendation for the 12th or 13th overall pick, and the money they have left to offer those hard-sign high school guys would be the equivalent of anywhere from the 20th to the 31st picks.
Happy Houston got their man here? If they don't sign any more of their risky picks, will you be satisfied with this haul and draft?