JK37 wrote:How accurate are these pick values? Are our guys signing for less than their pick spot is normally worth? Can someone who knows more about this than I please explain it?
Each team has a Bonus Pool allotment that they can spend on picks in the first 10 rounds without penalty. When you view the suggested slot value numbers, it gives you an idea of what each spot could be worth. If a team goes above their Bonus Pool money, they are penalized heavily. Penalties start at 75% of the bonus overage plus potential loss of future picks. For example, if a team has a Bonus Pool of $10 million and they spend $12 million, they would receive a $2 million penalty plus lose two future 1st round picks. Players drafted after the first ten rounds can be compensated up to $125,000 without affecting the Bonus Pool. If a bonus exceeds $125,000 for a player drafted after the 10th round, it counts against the team's Bonus Pool. Sometimes a team will select a player in the late rounds that is not expected to sign professionally without a larger bonus. If that team is unable to sign some of the players in the first 10 rounds and have excess Bonus Pool money, they can take a shot at that player. Al Leiter's son is an example of that from this year's draft. He was drafted somewhere in the 15th-20th round because he intends to pitch at Vanderbilt. If he wanted to go pro and the front offices were confident he would sign, he would have been drafted in the first 5-15 picks of the draft.
Scouts are in contact with the players before the draft and bonus numbers are discussed. There are not many surprises. Most teams expect to sign all of the players in the first 10 rounds within their Bonus Pool allotment and know how much it will take to get it done with each player. Many players signed outside the first 10 rounds are going to sign below slot value. VERY FEW players (generally, less than 20) each year have life changing money.
Being a professional baseball player is a status is highly respected and deservedly so for those that have refined their skill set to continue to play the game. Unless a player reaches AAA, however, the wages are not sufficient for living. Players do it for the love of the game and the shot at playing in the big leagues. I expect in the next collective bargaining agreement to see more concessions for minor league players and draft compensation.