There is a pot of roughly $1 million to get Ryan Clifford, ranked inside the top 100 on several sights (i.e., a 2nd or 3rd round talent).
Given that many considered Gilbert to belong in the top half of the 1st round, and Melton was a fringe, 1st-round comp. type pick, adding Clifford would really be a shot in the arm in terms of talent infusion. It’s a bit of a coup that both of these talents signed under slot.
If Clifford does sign, one could even argue that no team did more with their resources than Houston. Isaiah Jackson is the other HS draftee, picked in the 18th round but considered a much greater talent, has signed a LOI to play at Arizona St. He has MLB bloodlines.
This would be a sea change from last year, when 4th-rounder Alex Ulloa did not sign with Houston despite the team drafting a bevy of 4th year seniors to help them save for above slot signings.
Ultimately we won’t know for years how this draft class ranks, but there should be an immediate infusion of talent in the farm system and there’s a chance that both Gilbert and Melton are in Corpus Christi one year from now.