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2011 MLB Signing Day Quick Thoughts

I know we have some new followers around this site over the past few years. I am a supporter of the new draft system with a set signing deadline across board as it is better than the old system of having kids signing on their way to the first college class. Could it be better? Of course, but that is for discussion later. Here are some of my most interesting news and notes from the day.

The college team that was the biggest winner today was Vanderbilt who had their prize recruit Tyler Beede turn down 2.5 million from the Toronto Blue Jays to go to Nashville. Beede was the 21st overall selection in this year’s draft and demanded 3.5 million from the Blue Jays which they were never able to meet. Beede will make an immediate impact in the Vanderbilt pitching staff which lost their entire weekend rotation in Sonny Gray, Grayson Garvin, and Taylor Hill. You can check out a full article on Beede by clicking here. Not all was good news for the Commodores as the Cubs signed Shawon Dunston Jr. and the Blue Jays signed Kevin Comer.

The MLB team who picked up the most talent on Monday was the Washington Nationals who were able to sign their top four picks in Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer, Brian Goodwin, and Matt Purke. Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon, who was our number 1 ranked player heading into 2011 season, ended up signing for 7.2 million in a major league contract with six million guaranteed. Kentucky RHP Alex Meyer signed for two million with the Nats. He was on our Top 100 list as the 34th best player in the country entering the season. 34th overall selection Brian Goodwin signed for three million after transferring to Miami-Dade this past year from North Carolina. TCU’s Matt Purke also signed with the nationals as the 93rd overall pick. Purke had an injury riddled season with the Horned Frogs which saw him miss several starts. We had rated Purke as the second best prospect in our preseason Top 100 countdown.

One of the players that gambled this year and it was the wrong decision was Southern California’s Austin Wood. In 2010, he was a fourth round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays ended up offering a deal above slot but he decided to attend USC. Wood had an up and down season with the Trojans going 5-7 with a 5.61 ERA in 16 appearances (14 starts). The Angels selected him in the sixth round this season and he only got 150k.

My steal of the draft was Louisville RHP Tony Zych selected in the fourth round by the Chicago Cubs. He ended up signing for a paltry 400k and has the potential to become a shutdown reliever in the Major Leagues with a fastball topping out at 99 and a devastating slider. I saw him make UConn’s George Springer look like a little leaguer during the regular season with the bases loaded and one out.

A couple of key senior returnees are Florida State OF James Ramsey and South Carolina’s Matt Price, Michael Roth, Adam Matthews, and Tyler Webb. Each of these guys will be key to their respective team’s success during the 2012 season.

Feel free to leave your comments below on signing day and we will share our opinions.