2012 MLB Draft Open Thread (new links 6/2)

Pursuant to a suggestion in the game thread, this is a thread to discuss the upcoming MLB Rule 4 Amateur Draft that starts next Monday, June 4 (first round and supplemental) and runs for 40 rounds through June 6th. I've included some useful links below to provide some background; undoubtedly I've missed a few so please suggest any additional info in the comments

There is a fair bit that is new this year, due to the new CBA, so I'll outline a few of the key points and differences from the past. Most critically, in the past each pick had a recommended slot for the singing bonus, but they were non-binding and teams often went way over, particularly with high schoolers who fell due to their bonus demands (for example, Dan Norris, who the Jays drafted in the 2nd round. He was first round talent, but had suggested he want $3.9 million to sign so he fell. He ended up settling for $2M). This year, each pick in the first 10 rounds has a value assigned to it (from $7.2M for the first overall, down to $125K for the bottom of the 10th round), and then the value for all the picks a team has is totalled to give one pooled number. The team does not have to stick to the values assigned for each individual pick, but must stay within their total overall allocation. If a team goes over, there are penalties: for 0-5% over, it's a 75% tax, with penalties escalating every 5% threshold until you get 5% over, when you pay a 100% tax on overage and lose 2 first rounders in subsequent drafts.

Previously, if a player drafted in the first 3 didn't sign, the team got that pick the next year, when it was considering unprotected, meaning if the draftee didn't sign again, the pick was lost.. The notorious example in these parts being Tyler Beede, whom the Jays drafted 21st overall last year without signing, and therefore got the 22nd overall pick this year. There are two differences this year: first, the picks are now protected for 2 years, not just the one. Baseball America reported the Beede pick is grandfathered into this, so it is still protected this year whereas under the old CBA it would not have been. More importantly, if you don't sign the player, you lose the slot allocation from your draft pool, so it can't be allocated elsewhere. You do however get the slot allocation the following year with the new pick.

Finally, for players drafted after round 10, they can be signed for up to $100K with no impact on the slotting. However, if a team wants to give a player more than that, the difference between the bonus and $100K counts against the team's total pool. As an example, in 2009, the Jays drafted Drew Hutchison in the 15th round and agreed on a $400K bonus. If that happened this year, $300K would count towards the bonus pool.

Due to these changes, and the fact that there is no player considered the consensus #1 player, everything is pretty wide open. There has been a lot of speculation about how things will play out, and how different teams will try to play things. I'd outline some, but this is already quite long, and I'm sure it will come out in the discussion. So moving onto the background info:

Where the Jays Pick on the First Day:

  • 1st round, 17th overall - their pick. Slot allocation = $2M
  • 1st round, 22nd overall - Beede compensation. Slot allocation = $1.8M
  • 1st round supplemental, 50th overall - Francisco compensation. Slot allocation = $1.0M
  • 1st round supplemental, 58th overall - Rauch compensation. Slot allocation = $884,100
  • 1st round supplemental, 60th overall - J. Molina compensation. Slot allocation = $857,200

Background Draft Resources

Baseball America

Keith Law/ESPN

Jays Journal

Perfect Game USA

  • Draft Home (links to free and insider articles/reports).
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