Cleveland Indians second overall pick of the 2015 draft came to terms with the team late yesterday, and and is expected to sign his contract today. Triston McKenzie was drafted by the Tribe with their competitive balance pick at #42 overall in the 2015 MLB Draft. Hailing from Royal Palm Beach High School, the 6’5" 160-pound pitcher was one of the youngest players in the draft at only 17 years old.
According to MLB.com’s Jim Callis, McKenzie signed on for $2,302,500 -- a full $834,100 over his $1,468,400 slot value. Thanks to some shrewd signing of other draft picks, the Tribe were able to go over McKenzie’s slot value without the danger of going over their full bonus pool value. In total, they had a bonus pool of $7,234,200, and this McKenzie signing puts them just under that magic number at $7,150,680.
Editor's note: Jason here, and I'm not so sure the Indians are actually below their slot budget. There's a discussion of this in the comments.
McKenzie was committed to Vanderbilt University and was viewed as one of the Tribe’s most difficult-to-sign players when they selected him back on June 8.
Along with McKenzie, the Indians have signed all 11 players from their first 10 rounds of the draft, as well as 14 of their first 15 picks. The Tribe farm system is currently light on high-ceiling pitching potential, and this draft seems like a direct answer to that issue. Of those first 11 overall picks, seven of them were pitchers. Most importantly, the top three picks --LHP Brady Aiken, RHP Triston McKenzie and LHP Juan Hillman -- will be injecting some big potential into the farm system.
The Indians also made some noise by drafting switch-pitcher Ryan Perez in the 12th round. Perez signed his contract with the team on June 16.