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MLB draft round three: Dodgers take Cuban defector Garcia

Jun 5, 2012, 1:45 PM EDT

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Some notes from round three of the MLB draft.

- Cuban defector Onelki Garcia, a 22-year-old left-handed pitcher, went to the Dodgers at No. 113 after his odd saga that had him ruled eligible and then ineligible for the 2011 draft. He’s reportedly requested a $7 million bonus, but it will be impossible for him to get anything close to that here. Of course, he doesn’t have a whole lot of leverage, not unless he wants to go pitch in Japan. It’s doubtful he’ll be any more attractive as a draft pick a year from now.

- The Blue Jays grabbed Anthony Alford, Baseball America’s No. 36 rated player, with the 112th pick. Expectations are that he’s going to play quarterback at Southern Miss, and since he won’t be in line for a big-time bonus at No. 112, that seems a likelier scenario than ever now. If the Jays do go above slot to sign him, they’d get a center fielder with big-time tools.

- The Red Sox dipped back into the Gator well, selecting Florida’s closer, Austin Maddox, this time around. They drafted his teammate, starting pitcher Brian Johnson, with the final pick of the first round. Maddox hit 17 homers as a freshman in 2010, but he was used primarily on the mound this season and had a 2.24 ERA and a 55/10 K/BB ratio in 52 1/3 innings. He figures to be used strictly as a reliever in the pros.

- Minnesota picked Adam Walker, whose father was a running back and returner for the 49ers in the mid-90s. Walker looks like a football player himself and offers about as much power potential as anyone in the draft. Making contact is an issue. Walker hit .343/.426/.581 with 12 homers for the University of Jacksonville this season, but he also fanned 47 times in 210 at-bats while facing modest competition.

- The Tigers announced their third-round pick, Austin Schotts, as a center fielder, rather than at his high school position of shortstop. Schotts possesses blinding speed, but he lacks the arm to play shortstop in the majors. Some thought he might also fit at second base, and given the Tigers’ needs, is kind of surprising that they don’t want to try him there. Of course, being a high school product, he’s four or five years off anyway.

  1. dodger88 - Jun 5, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Thanks for these quick summary posts. I don’t have the first clue about any of the players being drafted so I appreciate the quick tidbits, particulary about those drafted by the Dodgers.

  2. proudlycanadian - Jun 5, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Toronto’s selection of Alford is risky as he is considered unsignable. It appears though that they will take a run at him. From the 4th round on, they have just been drafting college seniors. College seniors have no leverage, so the Jays will save some bonus money on these guys that can be offered to Alford.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 5, 2012 at 6:21 PM

      In the 10th round, the Jays drafted a senior from the Naval Academy. A couple of picks later, a West Point grad was drafted.

      I detect a draft loophole here. Lets assume that his slot bonus is $125,000. Sign him for a bonus of $50,000. $75,000 is freed up to pay to a player drafted much higher. It is quite possible that the Navy grad will never play pro ball; however he will get $50,000 and the Jays chance of signing an earlier “Unsignable” pick improves.

      If I am right, a team could draft and sign a college senior who has no intention to play as a pro (the team would release him at the appropriate time) and consequently free up signing bonus money for an earlier pick. If a team drafts someone who does not sign, the bonus money assigned to that slot disappears. If you draft and sign someone who does not intend to be a pro, you can save some of that draft bonus in order to pay more to a “hard to sign” player.

      • Matthew Pouliot - Jun 5, 2012 at 6:40 PM

        You’ve got it right. It’s a strategy. 21 college seniors went in the 10th round of the draft. Only one college senior taken so far 22 picks into the 11th round.

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 5, 2012 at 7:26 PM

        The Jays began to draft high ceiling high school players again in the 11th round. As I read the rules, they can offer players taken after the 10th round any bonus they want; however, if it is more than $100,000, the amount comes out of the bonus pool for players taken in the first 10 rounds. In other words, if the Jays save some bonus money by drafting college seniors, yet are unable to sign players like Alford, they can overpay some of the high school players they are drafting in rounds 10 to 20. This reminds me of 2009 when the Jays could not come to an agreement with James Paxton and his agent Boras. Boras overplayed his hand that year, just as he did this year. The Jays took some of the money they would have spent on Paxton and gave it to their 15th round pick who happened to be Drew Hutchinson. Paxton got screwed by Boras, and is still in the minors. Hutchinson is in the Jays rotation.

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