Clock Ticking For Teams To Sign MLB Draft Picks

August 15, 2010

Nine College Players Among Unsigned First Rounders…

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The countdown is on for big league teams to sign players who were selected in the 2010 MLB Draft. With the deadline Monday night at midnight E.T. (officially 12:01 am Tuesday, August 17), 17 first round draft picks remain unsigned. Nine of those 17 are college baseball players.

Overall #1 draft pick Bryce Harper

Number one overall pick, Bryce Harper, played just a year at the College of Southern Nevada. The 17-year-old phenom got his GED so he could skip his senior year of high school to begin his march toward the professional ranks. He hit ,442 with 29 home runs and 89 RBIs while leading Coyotes to the Junior College World Series. He also received the Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top amateur baseball player.

The Washington Nationals took Harper with the top pick in this year’s draft, just as they did with former San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg last year. Like Strasburg, Harper is a client of mega agent Scott Boras, who is known as a tough negotiator. Harper also still has three years of college eligibility remaining, which gives him plenty of bargaining leverage.

Interestingly, Harper’s junior college coach, Tim Chambers, has already left Southern Nevada to become the head coach at UNLV.

Most of the other eight unsigned first round college players are juniors, which gives them negotiating leverage as well.  Zack Cox of Arkansas is one of the exceptions. He is a draft eligible sophomore because he is already 21 years old.  Cox was taken by St. Louis with the 25th overall pick in June.

Here’s a look at other unsigned first round college players with their corresponding draft order:

5. Drew Pomeranz-LHP-Ole Miss./Cleveland Indians

6. Barret Loux-RHP-Texas A&M/Arizona Diamondbacks

7. Matt Harvey-RHP-North Carolina/New York Mets

11. Deck McGuire-RHP-Georgia Tech/Toronto Blue Jays

12. Yasmani Grandal-C-Miami (FL)/Cincinnati Reds

24. Gary Brown-OF-Cal State Fullerton/San Francisco Giants

26. Kyle Parker-OF-Clemson/Colorado Rockies

Parker is a bit of a wild card, because he plays both football and baseball at Clemson. This past year he became the first player in Division One history to throw 20 touchdown passes and hit at least 20 home runs in the same academic year. He has three years of eligibility remaining on the football team, but just one season remaining with the baseball team.

Parker’s self-imposed deadline for the Rockies to sign him passed last month, but there is always the chance he could sign with Colorado before the deadline, continue to play football for the Tigers and then play minor league baseball next spring and summer.

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