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Catching up with NC State's 2014 MLB Draft class: Trea Turner's already rolling

Trea Turner is hitting over .400 for his single-A squad, while Brett Austin picked up a hit in his pro debut this week.


It's been a couple weeks since the MLB Draft, and almost every NC State player selected has agreed to terms on a contract by now. Carlos Rodon is the notable exception, but based on everything I've read, a deal seems only a matter of time. The White Sox have around $6.5 million left in their bonus pool to work with, so they will be able to give Rodon a bonus well above the slot value of the No. 3 pick ($5,721,500).

Here's a quick rundown for the dudes who have signed, including whatever minor league assignment information I could find:

Trea Turner (bonus: $2.9 million) -- Eugene Emeralds (short-season A), Northwest League

Turner is off to a great start in Eugene, hitting .417/.563/.500 in three games. On Thursday he picked up his first extra-base hit as a pro, and he's already 4-for-4 on stolen base attempts. Two of his three starts have come at DH, so I guess they must have a crowded infield in Eugene right now.

Brett Austin (bonus: $450,000) -- Kannapolis Intimidators (A), South Atlantic League

Austin made his pro debut on Thursday night, starting at catcher and batting sixth in the order. He finished 1-for-4 with a double, two RBI, and three strikeouts (plus a fielding error). In addition to Kannapolis, there are Sally League clubs in Asheville, Greensboro, and Hickory--should be plenty of opportunities to see him this summer if you're in NC. The Intimidators are in Hickory for a series beginning on Monday.

Logan Jernigan -- Eugene Emeralds (short-season A), Northwest League

Jernigan is in Eugene as well, though he hasn't logged any work yet.

Andrew Woeck -- signed; rehabbing from Tommy John surgery

Eric Peterson -- Greeneville Astros (Rookie), Appalachian League

He pitched 1-1/3 shutout innings in relief during Greeneville's first game of the season, allowing one hit, striking out three, and walking none.

Patrick Peterson -- Pulaski Mariners (Rookie), Appalachian League

Patrick hasn't seen any action yet, but he told me yesterday that he'll be in the starting rotation.

By the way, if you're curious why someone like Eric Peterson--a 37th-round pick--would sign rather than come back and try to improve his stock, it mostly has to do with the most recent MLB collective bargaining agreement, which altered the way teams approach drafting and signing college juniors versus college seniors.

Each club has a set bonus pool--essentially the sum of the slot values of their first 10 picks--and if they want to spend a little extra to land one guy they really covet, they're going to have to sign guys below slot elsewhere to make sure they are on track to stay within their total bonus allotment and avoid penalty. Baseball America explains it better here. This has destroyed bonus values for college seniors since they have no leverage.

Take a look at the paltry bonuses signed by some of the guys taken in the latter portion of the first 10 rounds, then compare them to the slot value of those picks. I don't even need to check--they're all seniors. The Rays signed a dude for $2,500! Seattle got fourth-rounder to sign for $40,000, saving the club more than $430,000 that it could then allot elsewhere (like to NCSU recruit Gareth Morgan, for example--he signed with Seattle for waaay above slot).

If you're an elite talent, it can work out fine, financially speaking, if you opt to come back for your final college season, but guys like the Petersons or Logan Jernigan would just become the bargain bin-types next June.