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.

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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.

Jim Callis on Bleich

Baseball America’s Jim Callis took a question about Yanks’ sandwich rounder Jeremy Bleich in this week’s Ask BA. When asked if Bleich would have been considered a first rounder if not for the elbow strain, Callis replied “he could have been regarded as a consensus sandwich-rounder. He’s a lefty who knows how to pitch with an 88-91 mph fastball, a curveball and changeup, and his changeup grades as his best pitch. I wouldn’t call him a steal in the supplemental first round, but he wasn’t a reach either.” I’ll take it, but the real question is this: can he hold down Wang’s rotation spot? Pretty please?