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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Pirates Sign 35th Round Pick, Outfielder Deion Walker to Over-Slot Deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed their 38th draft pick this year and sixth prep player in that group. Deion Walker, who was selected in the 35th round, was signed on Tuesday afternoon. Here’s his player page.

We mentioned last week that the Pirates still had some bonus pool money to work with after they signed Jasiah Dixon to an over-slot deal. We don’t have the bonus total yet, but they could have paid Walker as much as $195,800 to sign before they used up their entire bonus pool (plus the 5% overage allowed before losing a draft pick).

Walker had a commitment to¬†Chattahoochee Valley CC. He doesn’t turn 18 until August 20th, so he’s young for the draft class. He’s considered a toolsy player, with good bat speed and a solid approach at the plate. He has a 6’4″ frame that has some filling out to do still.

We will update this post once we get his draft bonus. Here’s our draft tracker.

UPDATE: Jim Callis has the bonus amount and it’s $200,000 for Walker. I can guarantee that the Pirates didn’t go over their bonus pool by $4,200. They have multiple people who are paid to check and double check those things, so one of the previous reported bonuses is possibly off by $5,000. The more likely explanation is that teams are allowed to build $2,500 incentives into contracts that are amazingly easy to reach (such as appearing in your first game kind of easy) and there are probably two deals that have that incentive in it, which doesn’t count against the pool. So it looks like the draft bonus pool is completely dry right now and if anyone else signs, they will need to sign for the slot amount. That seems unlikely, but you can’t completely rule it out.

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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.

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