The Pittsburgh Pirates had one of their best drafts in franchise history. But where did their alloted draft pool go to?
Going into this year’s draft the Pittsburgh Pirates had the number one overall pick. Not only did they get free reign over who they picked, but they also had the most draft slot money to use on their draft picks.
With $14,394,000 to spend, they had $140,200 more than the Detroit Tigers. They used all of that slot money and then some, which led to one of their best drafts ever, possibly the best in franchise history. So where did this money go towards?
Let’s first start with their under-slot picks. The first and most notable underslot pick from the draft was the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting Henry Davis. The Louisville catcher went first overall. The Bucs were able to sign him for $6.5 million while his slot value was $8,415,300.
The Pittsburgh Pirates got 6 straight under slot picks in rounds 5 through 10. Now, remember, this was after they picked 3 straight-over slot players, one of which went way over slot, and their 5th round pick was college infielder Jackson Glenn.
Glenn’s slot value came in $422,300, but the Pirates got a bargain for Glenn as he signed for just $12.5K. They got another huge bargain right after Glenn in Mike Jarvis. Another college position player, Jarvis went in the 6th round. His slot value came out to $315,400, but the Pittsburgh Pirates got him for just $7.5K. Their 7th round pick was Wyatt Hendrie. The backstop from San Diego University didn’t sign for nearly the same discount as Glenn or Jarvis did, but he still signed for under slot value. Hendrie had a slot value of $244,900 while he signed for $177,500.
Sean Sullivan, Luke Brown and Justin Meis all signed under slot as well. Sullivan and Meis signed for over $125K less than their slot value. Meis gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a bargain as well, signing for $72.5K less than his slot was worth.
The big over slot pick the Pittsburgh Pirates signed was shortstop/right-handed pitcher Bubba Chandler. Chandler was projected to go within the first 10-20 picks. But Chandler’s commitment to Clemson football made him a bit of a concern for teams to pick so early. However, the Pirates were able to win him over his commitment by going big on his signing bonus. Chandler was picked with the 72nd overall selection, which had a slot value of just $870,700. Chandler signed a massive $3 million deal with the Pirates.
Chandler was their biggest over slot pick, but not their only overslot pick. Second-round selection Anthony Solomento went to the Pirates with the 37th selection, which had a slot value of $1,999,300. Solomento went overslot at $2.8 million. Then Lonnie White Jr., their compensation pick, also signed for over slot money, inking a $1.5 million deal with his slot value being worth just over $1.05 million.
Their next to last deal was an over slot deal. They signed highly talented high school outfielder Braylon Bishop to a $267,700 bonus in the 15th round and with the 403rd pick. Picks past the 10th round have a slot value of $125K, so he got a decent amount. It was up in the air for quite a while whether or not Bishop would sign. After all, he was projected to go in the top 100 by MLB Pipeline. The main reason he fell as far as he did was because of his college commitment to the University of Arkansas. Despite his commitment and late-round selection, the Pittsburgh Pirates were still able to convince Bishop to sign.
Their final draft signing was over-slot as well. Fourth-round selection Owen Kellington agreed on a $600,000 deal. The high school right-hander was selected with the 102nd overall pick. His slot value was $571,400, so he got $28,600 over slot.
The Pirates signed all but two of their players past the 10th round. Four players got $125K deals, that being Jack Carey (11th round), Owen Sharts (13th round), A.J. Graham (18th round), and Brenden Dixon (20th round). Tyler Samaniego (15th round) signed for $75,000.
The Pirates spent a lot of money on Davis, Solomento, and Chandler. Between the three, they spent $12.3 million of their allotted draft pool on the trio. That’s 85.5% of their slot money going to just them alone. Overall, the Pirates went over their draft slot. The total money they handed out amounted to $15,938,700. That was $1,5144,700 over their allotted amount. Had the team spent just $2,500 more in signing bonuses, they would have ran the risk of facing the penalty of losing their 2022 first-round pick. Though they won’t get away scot-free for going so far over. They will receive a $537,900 penalty next year’s draft.