Quick White Sox Draft Update

Most of the signings from the White Sox 2015 MLB Draft have been completed, as you can see on our Tracker. Here’s a quick look at the remaining open questions, as well as the current state of the bonus pool.

  • The White Sox have signed 31 of their 38 draft picks, including all of the top 32 other than top draft pick Carson Fulmer.
  • Three of the unsigned picks will not sign: Cody Staab (38th, told us he’s going to Rice), Jalin McMillan (39th, the annual ACE draftee, they don’t sign), Joseph Reinsdorf (40th, didn’t even play on New Trier’s team his senior year).
  • That leaves Fulmer plus the picks at rounds 35 through 37 as open questions
  • 35th round pick Derek DJ King is an unknown
  • 36th round pick Mike Hickman is an OU commit and would take an out-size bonus to sign. He is likely equivalent to Bryce Montes de Oca last year in some ways, and his unlikely signing would hinge on what remains in the pool after signing Fulmer
  • 37th round pick Garvin Alston Jr is an ASU commit, and at last report to Future Sox, he is considering his options

As for the bonus pool, the White Sox have a total bonus pool of $5,347,500 to work with. Signings outside the first ten rounds do not count towards that, except for all dollars above $100,000 per player. As of this writing, all Top 10 picks except Fulmer have signed, for a total of $1,703,000. But 15th round pick Chris Comito is reported to have signed for $170,000, making a further $70,000 dent in the pool.

That leaves $3,574,500. Slot value for the Carson Fulmer signing is $3,470,600. Indications are that he’s likely to sign for around slot, and he was picked right around where most projected him to be. If he does sign at slot, that leaves $103,900 left in the pool (under the slot limit) to entice any of those other three picks. That amount (which would be, for example, $203,900 for any one) likely doesn’t get it done for Hickman, but might for one of the other two.

If Fulmer signs under slot, that would add the under-amount to the available pool. If he’s over, he can go over by that same $103,900 and still not put the White Sox over limit.

But there is another key factor here – The White Sox can go over their allotted pool by as much as 4.99%, pay an extra 75% “tax”, and still not lose future picks. That gives them an extra $267,374 to play with, if they so choose (and they did last year, in getting Carlos Rodon inked). So now, with a slot signing of Fulmer, the Sox could try to go all-in on Hickman and offer him as much as $471,274, and that could potentially work. Grabbing Mike Hickman would be a very nice addition to a somewhat hollowed-out draft with the loss of 2nd and 3rd round selections.

It all comes down to what Fulmer signs for. Any overage likely is offered to the OU-committed catcher, and if he declines, they may make similar overtures (in perhaps smaller, non-penalty amounts) to Alston and/or King. All eyes and ears are on number one for now.

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