Last night, we heard that the Pittsburgh Pirates reached an agreement with their second round pick Kevin Kramer. They made the signing official on Wednesday morning, along with three other later round draft picks. Kramer signed for $850,000, which is $144,500 below his slot value. That means the Pirates will be able to use the savings from his pick and put it towards over-slot picks from later rounds.
Kramer will report to the Morgantown club, where first round pick Kevin Newman will also start his career. It will be interesting to see how the Pirates split up time at shortstop between the two high draft picks. They said they intend to keep Newman at shortstop, so Kramer could move to second base, with occasional starts at shortstop.
The other draft picks announced today were 20th round pick Tanner Anderson, 21st rounder Nicholas Economos and 30th round pick Mike Wallace. Other players have already been signed, mostly the college seniors, and they should be announced soon. Logan Ratledge, who was taken in the 13th round, has already signed and 12th round pick Ty Moore is taking his physical today, but neither has been officially announced. You can find the player pages for all these players on our draft tracker.
Economos has been assigned to the GCL, while Wallace and Anderson will head to Bristol.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Why do these players accept the lower than slot offers? Do the Bucs just sell the ‘team-first’ mantra very well or do they offer and say “take it or leave it”?
They agree to a number ahead of time in almost all cases and the Pirates take them where they fit that number. If they took Kramer in the third round, he would have been an over-slot signing because he wanted $850K to sign. Slots are just a suggestion, not the “correct price”.
Every team gets players for less than slot at some point in the top ten rounds. College seniors will take $2000-$10000 all day to sign a pro contract. Kramer is a junior, so he doesn’t even have to sign, he could have stayed at college for another year and went back in the draft, so it would be hard to force him to sign.
Thanks for that intel, John
are there any later round picks that might be really difficult to sign who has huge upside? Like another Gage Hinsz? BTW: who names their kid Gage?
No player taken after Round 10 has more upside than 4th rounder Jacob Taylor. He very well may get every penny saved on Kramer.
Is he the son of Jake Taylor from the film franchise “Major League”?
Jake McCarthy is one, Cole Irvin probably won’t sign and Eli White said he intends to return to Clemson. Conor Costello will return to OSU for his final season. We have to wait until all of the top ten round picks are signed before we know what the Pirates can do with later picks