Pac-12 Commits in the MLB First-Year Player Draft

A few weeks ago, Major League Baseball held its 2014 First-Year Player Draft. Of the 1,125 players selected, 36 had committed to play at schools across the Pac-12. So far, 19 have signed professional contracts, ending Pac-12 fans’ hopes of seeing these athletes play at the respective schools they committed to. For the other 18 that have not signed as of Sunday, June 30th (today), they have until July 18th to decide whether they will sign or forego professional baseball for now in the hopes of improving their draft stock while being able to enjoy the college lifestyle for at least three years, when they next become eligible to declare for the MLB draft.

Obviously, the decision for those that have been unsigned weighs mainly on whether they are receiving the overall money they desire depending on where they were drafted. When the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was signed near the end of 2011, new rules were implemented toward the First-Year Player Draft that leveled the playing field across Major League Baseball in terms of the larger-market teams no longer having the advantage to spend more money on their drafts picks.

In the past, the Commissioner’s Office, would make “slot” recommendations about what the Commissioner’s Office felt certain draft spots in the draft were worth. If teams exceeded this amount, they had to provide an explanation to the Commissioner, Bud Selig, and if the team came up with an adequate explanation, the team(s) went unpunished.

However, Selig and the owners wanted a much more stringent slotting system in place. During the first 10 rounds of the draft, each individual pick is assigned a specific bonus amount for each team drafting in that exact spot. For example, since the Houston Astros had the first overall pick in this year’s draft, the first overall pick was assigned a value of $7,922,100 (source: Baseball America). For the first 10 rounds, the Astros were assigned an overall “pool” allotment of $13,362,200, the highest among Major League teams because they have the most selections targeting the most valuable amateur players coming from high school or college. The Astros would be allowed to overspend on Brady Aiken’s bonus, but they cannot pay more than $13,362,200 with all of their draft picks they hold within the first 10 rounds without facing an overage tax penalty. In addition, from rounds 11-40, no team can spend in excess of $100,000 on any individual draft pick’s bonus without facing the same overage tax penalties.

If a team exceeds its total bonus pool amount by anywhere from 0-5%, they are forced to pay a 75% tax on the overage they spent. (ex. Let’s say the Astros spend $13,500,000 this season on bonuses for their draft picks in the first 10 rounds. $13,500,000 – $13,362,200 = $137,800. $137,800/$13,362,200 = 1.03%. In this situation, since the Astros would be in the 0-5% range, they would have to pay 75% * $137,800 (the overage of the team’s bonus pool) = $103,350. So, the Astros would have to pay a $103,350 penalty.

If a team exceeds its total bonus pool amount by anywhere from 5-10%, it is forced to pay a 75% tax on the overage they spent plus they forfeit their first-round draft pick in the following year’s draft.

If a team exceeds its total bonus pool amount by anywhere from 10-15%, they are forced to pay a 100% tax on the overage they spent plus they forfeit their first-round and second-round draft picks in the following year’s draft.

If a team exceeds its total bonus pool amount by 15+%, they are forced to pay a 100% tax on the overage they spent plus they forfeit their first-round draft picks in the next two drafts.

The draft rules of recent CBA go even more in depth, but these are just the basics. These rules disallow teams from spending excessive amounts of money on their draft picks and gives teams more to think about when determining their own value on a player versus his assigned slot value by the league. It is certainly not a coincidence that all of the players on this list that were drafted in the 10th round or better have already been signed and those in the 11th round and later have not. As the July 18th deadline approaches, we will continue to monitor these players’ statuses and provide updates all the way until the signing deadline.


Name Round Overall Height Weight High School Hometown Organization Position Commitment Signed (Pro Ball)?
Brady Aiken 1 1 6’3″ 210 Cathedral Cathlic Cardiff by the Sea, CA Houston Astros Pitcher – L UCLA No (waiting announcement)
Alex Jackson 1 6 6’2″ 210 Rancho Bernardo Escondido, CA Seattle Mariners Catcher Oregon Yes
Derek Hill 1 23 6’2″ 175 Elk Grove Sacramento, CA Detroit Tigers Outfielder Oregon Yes
Cole Tucker 1 24 6’3″ 185 Mountain Pointe Phoenix, AZ Pittsburgh Pirates SS Arizona Yes
Michael Kopech Compensation – 1A 33 6’3″ 195 Mt. Pleasant Mount Pleasant, TX Boston Red Sox Pitcher – R Arizona Yes
Jacob Gatewood Competive Balance – A 41 6’5″ 190 Clovis Clovis, CA Milwaukee Brewers SS USC Yes
Ryan Castellani 2 48 6’4″ 195 Brophy College Prep. Phoenix, AZ Colorado Rockies Pitcher – R Arizona State Yes
Grant Hockin 2 61 6’4″ 195 Damien Pomona, CA Cleveland Indians Pitcher – R UCLA Yes
Alex Verdugo 2 62 6’0″ 200 Sahuaro Tucson, AZ Los Angeles Dodgers OF/LHP Arizona State Yes
Marcus Wilson Competive Balance – B 69 6’3″ 175 Juniperro Serra Los Angeles, CA Arizona Diamondbacks Outfielder Arizona State Yes
Joshua Morgan 3 95 5’11” 185 Orange County Lutheran Corona, CA Texas Rangers SS UCLA Yes
Brock Burke 3 96 6’2″ 170 Evergreen Evergreen, CO Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher – L Oregon Yes
Jacob Nix 5 136 6’3″ 200 Los Alamitos Los Alamitos, CA Houston Astros Pitcher – R UCLA Yes
Casey Soltis 5 137 6’1″ 185 Granada Livermore, CA Miami Marlins Outfielder Oregon Yes
Max George 6 173 5’9″ 180 Regis Jesuit Parker, CO Colorado Rockies SS/2nd Oregon State Yes
Trace Loehr 6 192 5’10” 175 Putnam Milwaukie, OR Oakland Athletics SS Oregon State Yes
Branden Kelliher 8 252 5’11” 175 Lake Stevens Lake Stevens, WA Oakland Athletics Pitcher – R Oregon Yes
Spencer Moran 11 337 6’6″ 180 Moutain View Surprise, AZ Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher – R Utah Yes
Gage Hinsz 11 341 6’4″ 210 Billings West Billings, MT Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher – R Oregon State No
Jordan Yamamoto 12 356 6’0″ 185 Saint Louis School Pearl City, HI Milwaukee Brewers Pitcher – R Arizona Yes
J.J. Matijevic 22 674 6’2″ 200 Norwin North Huntingdon, PA Boston Red Sox SS/Util Arizona No
Darius Day 23 696 5’11” 180 Simeon Carter Academy Chicago, IL Texas Rangers Outfielder Arizona No
Joe Gillette 23 705 6’3″ 190 Scotts Valley Scotts Valley, CA St. Louis Cardinals Infielder Oregon State No
Denis Karas 24 731 5’10” 165 Campolindo Lafeyette, CA Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher – R California No
Kainoa (KJ) Harrison 25 758 6’1″ 195 Punahou Kailua, HI Cleveland Indians Catcher Oregon State No
David Peterson 28 854 6’6″ 230 Regis Jesuit Denver, CO Boston Red Sox Pitcher – L Oregon No
Cameron Avila-Leeper 29 860 5’11 150 Grant Union Sacramento, CA Minnesota Twins Pitcher – L Arizona No
Elliot Cary 32 964 6’3″ 175 Clackamas Clackamas, OR Washington Nationals Pitcher – L Oregon State No
Andrew Summerville 34 1011 6’3″ 185 Lakeside Seattle, WA Seattle Mariners Pitcher – L Stanford No
Tim Susnara 34 1018 6’1″ 195 St. Francis Redwood City, CA San Francisco Giants Catcher Oregon No
Nick Leonard 34 1033 6’2″ 180 Mountain Vista Highlands Ranch, CO Atlanta Braves Pitcher – R Washington State No
Mitch Hart 35 1048 6’4″ 195 Granite Bay Granite Bay, CA San Francisco Giants Pitcher – R USC No
Griffin Canning 38 1133 6’1″ Unknown Santa Margarita Coto De Caza, CA Colorado Rockies Pitcher – R UCLA No
Drew Rasmussen 39 1170 6’1″ 200 Mt. Spokane Colbert, WA Arizona Diamondbacks Pitcher – R Oregon State No
Jeff Bain 39 1179 6’4″ 215 San Marino Pasadena, CA Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher – R California No
Michael Gretler 39 1184 6’2″ 180 Bonney Lake Bonney Lake, WA Boston Red Sox Infielder Oregon State No