Pirates Sign Neil Kozikowski to Over-Slot Deal

UPDATE FRIDAY 6:31 PM: The Pirates have officially announced the deal, as expected. They also made the signing of 22nd round pick Henry Hirsch official, which we reported earlier today.

MONDAY: The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to an over-slot deal with eighth round pick Neil Kozikowski, Pirates Prospects has learned from a source with knowledge of the discussions. The deal is for $425,000, which is over the $155,400 slot price for the eighth round.

After signing second rounder Blake Taylor to an under-slot deal, the Pirates have $266,000 for over-slot deals without any penalties. Kozikowski’s deal will put them about $5,000 over-budget, although they could still create room with any number of their top ten round picks. They can also spend up to $701,345 in over-slot deals without forfeiting a draft pick. Kozikowski will take his physical later in the week, and should officially sign by the end of the week.

The right-hander wasn’t on the radar in any top draft prospects rankings, but seems like the type of projectable arm the Pirates love. He’s 6′ 4″, 180 pounds, and throws 86-88 MPH but has touched 92. He throws from a 3/4 arm slot, and has a projectable frame, which could give him added velocity in the future. He also has a good changeup, a solid slider, and a cutter. Originally I questioned whether he might be an under-slot candidate, but after considering his commitment to VCU — which has a good baseball program — I thought he might be a little bit more difficult to sign.

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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