While there were whispers of some weird things happening at the top of the 2018 MLB Draft, one of the least surprising picks was that Auburn’s Casey Mize was selected #1 overall. There were certainly some weird bonus pool considerations, Mize was widely considered to be the top prospect in the draft as a college arm that should make his way quickly to the major leagues.
Before the current bonus pool rules, there was always a certain amount of apprehension of whether or not a given pick would sign and there were plenty of instances where a player decided not to sign and took their chances in later drafts. However, with such importance placed on bonus pool slots these days, teams and players are generally on the same page as to how much it will take to sign them so day one and two players very rarely don’t sign unless something weird happens with a player’s physicals.
Tigers fans need not worry any longer as they have locked up their top draft pick.
Mize's $7.5 million signing bonus sets a record under the current bonus pool rules. He signed for $596,300 under slot value.— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) June 25, 2018
For bonuses paid under the current set of rules, Mize’s signing bonus sets a record at $7.5 million which looks like (and is) a lot of money. However, with the slot value for the #1 overall pick being over $8 million, the Tigers actually saved some money in their bonus pool which they can use to give overslot bonuses to other players.
While $7.5 million is a record under the current rules, it is not a record deal for the draft overall.
No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize gets $7.5 million from @Tigers, tying Bubba Starling & Stephen Strasburg for second-highest bonus in @MLBDraft history behind Gerrit Cole's $8 million. Auburn RHP, premium stuff & control to match. Will move fast.— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 25, 2018
It is also worth pointing out here that just because a player receives a bunch of money or is drafted highly does not mean that they will pan out. Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg are studs, but Bubba Starling signed for $7.5 million as the 5th pick in the 2011 draft and has yet to crack the major leagues as he has struggled with some injuries as well as some mediocre production at the plate.