Cole, Bleich & Bittle updates

MLB.com draft guru Jonathan Mayo has posted a small update on the status of the 11 first round picks that remain unsigned, four of which are represented by Boras. He notes that both Gerrit Cole (1st round) and Jeremy Bleich (sandwich round) are expected to sign with the Yanks, however second rounder Scott Bittle is not. A routine physical showed significant wear and tear on the righty’s throwing shoulder about a month ago, leading to an breakdown in contract negotiations. If Bittle doesn’t sign, the Yanks will receive a compensation pick following the second round of next year’s draft. Bleich is the only unsigned sandwich pick now that the Giants locked up Conor Gillaspie.

Update (1:20pm): Pending Pinstripes had a chance to sit down and chat with the recently signed Brett Marshall. Check it out. (can you tell the kid just got out of high school, or what?)

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Yanks sign seventh rounder

Via Ken Davidoff, the Yanks have signed their seventh round pick, California prep catcher Kyle Higashioka, to a deal worth approximately $400,000. Rated the 77th best prospect in the state by Baseball America, they describe him as a superb defensive catcher with interesting power potential. The deal is roughly $250,000 overslot, and buys him out of a commitment to Cal. Austin RomineJesus Montero & Higashioka are an eviably trio of lower level catching prospects. (h/t to Patrick)

Talks’ with second rounder Bittle stall

Via The Clarion Ledger comes word that contract negotiations between the Yankees and second round pick Scott Bittle have reached an impasse after a physical showed “wear and tear” on his throwing shoulder. No surprise here, Bittle and his agent say he’s fine. The 75th overall pick threw 70.2 innings as Ole Miss’s closer this season, which is right in line with the typical workload of a top college reliever. If the Yanks don’t come to terms with Bittle, they’ll receive a compensation pick after the second round next year as per MLB’s latest draft rule change. Obviously you’d rather have the player now instead of the pick later.

Just for a historical note, the Padres discovered that Tim Stauffer had a fatigued shoulder after signing him to a $2.6M deal as the 4th overall pick of the 2003 draft. Stauffer’s bonus was adjusted down to $750,000, and he’s gone on to have an unspectacular career thus far. He’s currently coming back from Tommy John surgery.

9th rounder O’Brien agrees to deal

The Roanoke Times has the news. I wrote up O’Brien on draft day, so you can find more info about him here. If he wasn’t a 5′-11″ righthander, O’Brien would be considered a much sexier prospect. He passed on a 98% scholarship to Winthrop, so I suspect his signing bonus is rather large, probably in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, although that’s nothing more than a guess. A solid addition to the farm system. (h/t to Pending Pinstripes)

Update: Lane Meyer points out that O’Brien is also a Type 1 diabetic. Teams tend to be concerned about a player’s ability to hold up over a long season if he’s a diabetic, and I can’t say I really blame them. Current Yankee farmhand Bradley Suttle is also a Type 1 diabetic.

Rays ink top pick Beckham

I missed this one while I was out of town at the end of last week. Tim Beckham, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, agreed to a record $6.15M deal, bringing in $50,000 more than The Justin Upton did in 2005. I’m surprised the deal was announced so soon, but Jim Callis doesn’t think the signing will inflate the bonuses for the remaining unsigned players. Last year Rick Porcello received a $3.58M bonus as part of a four-year ML contract that could be worth $11.1M with incentives, the largest deal ever given out to a high school pitcher. Boras will likely milk the Yanks’ teet dry for Gerrit Cole, but I doubt he’ll get a Porcello-esque deal, even if Beckham’s deal causes inflation. I do expect Cole to get more than the $2.1M given to Jarrod Parker recieved as the 9th overall pick, which was the second largest bonus given to a HS pitcher last year.

Jeremy Bleich takes on Georgia

If that exhilarating Dan Giese-Daryl Thompson matchup in the Bronx doesn’t do it for you, flip on over to ESPN at 2pm EST to check out sandwich rounder Jeremy Bleich try to save Stanford’s season in the College World Series. If the Cardinal wins today, they’ll take on Georgia again tomorrow, winner goes to the CWS Finals. If Georgia wins today, Stanford goes home and Georgia will take on either UNC or Fresno State in the Finals. Talk about the game here if you want, here’s the Game Tracker if you can’t get in front of a TV.

Draftee signings update

P-Abe notes that the Yanks signed a bunch of draft picks in the last few days, including 5th rounder Chris Smith and 8th rounder (and super sleeper) Dan Brewer. Smith is the kid that hit .708 with a .2100+ OPS as a senior in high school last year, and he’s already getting overhyped. They’re high school stats, throw them right out the window, they’re useless. Pete also notes that 7th rounder Kyle Higashioka was in the clubhouse yesterday and took BP with a team, while NoMaas shows that 6th rounder Brett Marshall was kickin’ it with the team during their recent trip to Houston. Signings for the top 3 guys will probably go down to the wire, but you can see all of the picks & signings here.