A few more high draft picks have agreed to terms within the past day. We’ll round up today’s news here:
- The Padres are in agreement with #15 overall pick Dylan Lesko, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com (Twitter link). The right-hander will receive a $3.9MM signing bonus that checks in a bit shy of the selection’s $4.09MM slot value. Lesko, a 6’3″ hurler from a Georgia high school, was rated by Baseball America as the #13 prospect in the class. Widely regarded as the draft’s top pitcher for much of the spring, Lesko required Tommy John surgery in April. That perhaps cost him an opportunity to go in the top ten, but he still went midway through the first round and received a strong bonus to bypass a commitment to Vanderbilt. Aside from the injury and the inherent risk associated with any high school hurler, there’s little in Lesko’s profile to nitpick. Before the surgery, he’d run his fastball into the mid-90s with a changeup that BA calls “one of the best the industry has seen from a high school pitcher,” along with a high-spin curveball. He adds a high-upside arm to the lower levels of the San Diego system, although it remains to be seen how much he’ll be able to pitch before the end of next season.
- The A’s are in agreement with #19 selection Daniel Susac, Callis reports (on Twitter). The former University of Arizona catcher receives a $3.5312MM bonus that matches the slot value. The righty-hitting backstop, ranked the #11 player in the class by Baseball America, is coming off a massive .366/.430/.582 showing through 312 plate appearances during his second season with the Wildcats. He’s regarded as a bat-first backstop with good pull-side power, but both BA and Callis suggest he’s a good enough receiver to stick behind the plate, where his plus arm strength will be an asset. Susac’s older brother Andrew Susac spent parts of six seasons in the big leagues with the Giants, Brewers, Orioles and Pirates.
- The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with first-round pick Brandon Barriera, reports Callis (Twitter link). The left-hander out of a Florida high school receives a $3.5975MM bonus that checks in a fair bit north of the $3.08MM slot value associated with the #23 pick. Barriera, who is also foregoing a Vanderbilt commitment, is a 5’11” hurler who can run his fastball into the mid-90s. He was ranked by Baseball America as the #17 player in the class, and both BA and Callis credit him with a possible plus slider and note he was among the top southpaws available.
- The Diamondbacks have come to terms with right-hander Landon Sims, Callis reports (Twitter link). It’s a $2.34705MM bonus for the Mississippi State product, right around the slot value for the #34 overall pick. Sims was a lights-out closer for the Bulldogs in 2021, tossing 56 1/3 innings of 1.44 ERA ball with an otherworldly 46.9% strikeout rate to help MSU to a national title. The team attempted to transition him to the rotation this spring, but Sims blew out just three starts in and required Tommy John surgery. The injury has kept Sims from establishing any sort of track record as a starter, but both Callis and BA praise his mid-90s fastball and wipeout slider. He was the #35 prospect in the class, according to Baseball America.
- In addition to Lesko, the Padres are in agreement with their second-highest selection. Callis reports (on Twitter) that #39 pick Robby Snelling has agreed to terms on a $3MM bonus that shatters the $2MM slot value. Snelling was generally seen as a mid-late first round talent, and his bonus is commensurate with that view. A left-handed pitcher from a Nevada high school, he was rated by BA as the #21 prospect in the class. Both Callis and BA credit Snelling with one of the better curveballs in the draft, and the latter outlet suggests he has a chance to develop plus control. Snelling had been committed to LSU.