A look at the Orioles’ draft bonus pool and more

The Orioles have a bonus pool of $13,821,300 with which to sign their picks in the first 10 rounds of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft in June. That according to figures published by Baseball America.

The Orioles have the No. 1 pick in the draft for the second time in team history. They selected LSU right-hander Ben McDonald with the overall top pick in 1989.

ed smith stadium.jpgThe slot amount available to sign the top pick is just over $8.4 million dollars. The Orioles may wind up signing that player for an amount under that and using the savings on another player. This is what teams have done in recent drafts.

In 2017, Minnesota selected high school shortstop Royce Lewis with that No. 1 pick. The slot amount was $7.770 million, and Lewis signed for $6.725 million, a savings of $1.045 million. Last year, Detroit took Auburn right-hander Casey Mize with the first pick. The slot amount was $8.096 million and he signed for $7.5 million, so the club saved nearly $600,000. Savings on any pick can be used on others. But if any player picked is not signed, the slot amount for that pick just goes away.

Here are the listed slot amounts for the O’s top picks:

Round 1 (No. 1) - $8,415,300
Round 2 (No. 42) - $1,771,100
Competitive Balance Round B (No. 71) - $884,200
Round 3 (No. 79) - $780,400
Round 4 (No. 108) - $538,200
Round 5 (No. 138) - $402,000
Round 6 (No. 168) - $301,600
Round 7 (No. 198) - $235,100
Round 8 (No. 228) - $186,300
Round 9 (No. 258) - $159,200
Round 10 (No 288) - $147,900

Last year when the Orioles had the No. 11 overall pick, they had a bonus pool amount of $8,754,400 and that was the 13th-most in the majors. This year their pool amount is second only to that of the Diamondbacks, who have a pool of $16,093,700.

More props for Delmarva pitcher: Baseball America listed Single-A Delmarva right-hander Grayson Rodriguez No. 6 on its first Prospect Hot Sheet of the 2019 season. The hot sheet ranks the 20 hottest prospects from the previous week.

Baseball America wrote this on Rodriguez: “All of a sudden, the Orioles have some very interesting young pitching. DL Hall is one of the best young lefthanders in the game, and Rodriguez is quickly coming up behind him. Rodriguez has made his first two starts look incredibly easy thanks to a 92-97 mph fastball that explodes on hitters from an easy delivery. He also mixes both a power slider and an 11-to-5 curveball. Of the first 40 batters he’s faced, Rodriguez has struck out 20.”

In a live chat about the prospect hot sheet, BA’s JJ Cooper said the Orioles should be in no rush to promote the 19-year-old Rodriguez, who is just beginning his first year at a full-season affiliate.

Said Cooper: “In Rodriguez’s case, he’s in low Class A to start his first post-draft year. That’s right on schedule and is actually ahead of several other first-round prep pitchers from his class. Mike Elias and Sig Mejdal were part of the Astros organization when Forrest Whitley jumped from loA to hiA to AA in his first full pro season, but that is way faster than almost any other high school pitcher has been moved in recent years. If Rodriguez was in loA all season, he’d be right on schedule.”

Rodriguez was recently named the first South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week. The hurler from Nacogdoches, Texas won two scoreless starts, on April 5 and April 12, combining to give up just three hits - all singles - and five walks while striking out an eye-popping 20 batters over 11 innings. Rodriguez has allowed batting average of just .086 and a WHIP of 0.73.

He is on the mound tonight when Delmarva (11-1) tries to extend its winning streak to 10 in a row at Greensboro. The Shorebirds last won nine in a row from Aug. 25-Sept. 2, 2016. Their last longer win streak was when they won 11 in a row from April 21-May 2, 2011 on a team that had Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop on its infield.

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