2012 MLB Draft Recap: Chris Diaz, Ryan Mathews, Six Recruits Taken

The 2012 MLB Draft is in the books, and there weren't as many NC State players taken as we're accustomed to seeing. The draft has been fundamentally altered by the latest collective bargaining agreement, and that may be a factor in just two State players--only one with college eligibility/leverage remaining--being selected. State did have plenty of incoming recruits taken in the draft, however. Here's the full list of draftees:

Ryan Warner (RHP) -- Rd. 3 Comp B, Pick No. 128
Brett Phillips (OF) -- Rd. 6, Pick No. 189
Rowan Wick (C) -- Rd. 9, Pick No. 300
Chris Diaz (SS) -- Rd. 11, Pick No. 346
Ryan Mathews (OF) -- Rd. 27, Pick No. 829

Nicholas Pasquale (RHP) -- Rd. 20, Pick No. 623
Matt Tenuta (LHP) -- Rd. 25, Pick No. 763 (signed with KC, according to report)
Brad Stone (LHP) -- Rd. 35, Pick No. 1086

The guys in bold we either know are going pro or will most likely decide on going pro. Mathews, obviously, is out of college eligibility. Warner has already agreed to terms with the Rockies, while Phillips and Wick have each expressed a desire to skip college. Chris Diaz will be given an above-slot bonus, I suspect, and he will sign. The reason has to do with the draft rules I mentioned earlier. Here are the key changes:

a. "Each Club will be assigned an aggregate Signing Bonus Pool prior to each draft. For the purpose of calculating the Signing Bonus Pools, each pick in the first 10 rounds of the draft has been assigned a value. (These values will grow each year with the rate of growth of industry revenue.) A Club’s Signing Bonus Pool equals the sum of the values of that Club’s selections in the first 10 rounds of the draft. Players selected after the 10th round do not count against a Club’s Signing Bonus Pool if they receive bonuses up to $100,000. Any amounts paid in excess of $100,000 will count against the Pool."

b. Penalties for exceeding the Signing Bonus Pool are:
Excess of Pool Penalty - (Tax on Overage/Draft Picks)
* 0-5% - 75% tax on overage
* 5-10% - 75% tax on overage and loss of 1st round pick
* 10-15% - 100% tax on overage and loss of 1st and 2nd round picks
* 15%+ - 100% tax on overage and loss of 1st round picks in next two drafts

(emphasis mine)

The Twins ended up with the biggest pool: $12.4 million to spread over 13 picks.

More from Baseball America, including the estimated values for each pick in the first 10 rounds:

The numbers build off the bonus set for the No. 1 pick, which is $7.2 million this year. Every pick from 2-338 is expressed as a percentage of the No. 1 pick, down to $125,000 for the final picks of the 10th round. A team's total budget for the first 10 rounds is the sum of the numbers for all of its picks, so teams that have extra picks and early picks have more money to spend. The Twins have the highest budget this year, with the second overall pick as well as extra picks.

Teams can spread the money among their picks in the top 10 rounds in different ways so long as they stay under the total budget. For example, the Astros could sign their No. 1 pick for $5.2 million and spread the extra $2 million among other players. However, if a team fails to sign a player, it cannot apply the budgeted amount for that pick to other players and loses that amount from its overall budget.

(emphasis mine again)

So what happened was teams took more college seniors in the first 10 rounds--guys they knew would sign, thus eliminating the risk of losing any bonus money, and just as importantly, guys they knew would sign for cheap. Some seniors may not get more than $5k in bonus cash.

With signability becoming more important this year, this may be why State's draft numbers were down this year. Nine juniors (including Ogburn, Canela, and Overman) and one RS sophomore (Tzamtzis) went undrafted. Which, hey, is pretty good for Elliott Avent. I thought we'd at least have to sweat Ogburn. Based on what's happened so far, it looks like these spending restrictions are going to help college baseball programs retain players they might otherwise have lost.

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