Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 Draft: Top Draft Signing Including Uselton

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates have already signed their first round selection among many other later round picks.  They have now signed another one of their top picks from this year’s draft.

Two days ago it was reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates signed another prospect from day one of their draft.  According to MLB Pipeline, the Bucs agreed to terms with number 72 overall pick Connor Uselton.  Uselton is a high upside prep outfielder from Southmoore High School in Oklahoma.  The outfielder will receive a signing bonus of $900,000.  This amount comes in over slot.

The slot value for the number 72 pick was $804,000.  So all in all, the Bucs had to go $97,000 over slot to sign the high upside prospect. He will start his pro career for the Bucs in the Gulf Coast League. Really this is not too bad considering he was rated by MLB Pipeline as the 46th best prospect in the draft.  Often times when prep players slide by nearly a whole round they require a deal much more over slot.  So this actually is a relatively good deal for the Bucs. Here is MLB Pipeline’s scouting report on Uselton:

"“Uselton’s bat speed, strength and leverage give him some of the best raw power in this year’s high school crop. His right-handed swing has some arm bar and got out of sync on the showcase circuit, but he has done a nice job of quieting and repeating his stroke as a senior. He’s doing a better job of using the entire field and scouts feel better about his chances of tapping into his considerable pop.”“A solid runner who covers ground with long strides, Uselton may lose a half-step as he fills out. That would prompt a move from center field to right, where his cannon arm would fit perfectly."

The Pittsburgh Pirates have now signed three of their top four picks of this year’s draft class.  They have already signed Shane Baz, the number 12 overall pick to a deal just above his slot.  They also signed prep outfielder and number 50 overall pick Cal Mitchel to a deal right at his slot value. All that remains is for the Bucs to sign their number 42 overall pick Steven Jennings.  Jennings is a prep pitcher who will likely demand a bigger bonus compared to the two prep outfielders.  Still, the fact that they have only spent about $150,000 over slot between Baz and Uselton, should bode well for them to get a deal done with Jennings.

Next: A Look at Austin Meadows

Also, out of the top ten rounds (14 total picks), the Bucs have only not signed three of them thus far.  This includes 3rd round pick Dylan Busby, 6th round pick Cody Bolton, and the previously mentioned Jennings.  One thing of note is that it was reported out of the California area that Bolton had a deal in place with the Bucs.  So we shall see how that plays out.