The Texas Rangers previously officially announced the signing of their top three selections in the MLB draft -- Bubba Thompson, Chris Seise and Hans Crouse -- in the days immediately following the draft. They have also, per reports, signed each of their 3rd through 10th round picks -- the one player who was still up in the air, Itawamba JuCo first baseman Tyreque Reed, apparently signed on Wednesday.
Signing all the picks in the first ten rounds is the norm now, due to the “use it or lose it” nature of the bonus pools, which provide that if you select a player in the first ten rounds but don’t sign him, you lose the pool money associated with that pick. Harder-to-sign players generally are picked in the 11th round and later, when there’s no specific pool money slotted to each pick, and where a player can be paid up to $125,000 without dipping into the pool allotment.
So it is noteworthy that, in perusing the Baseball America draft database, we have the bonus money figures for three third day picks who Texas has signed -- Seth Nordlin, Alex Eubanks and Xavier Moore. All three are righthanded pitchers — Nordlin received a $175,000 signing bonus, Eubanks a $150,000 bonus, and Moore a $125,000 bonus.
Nordlin and Eubanks both were in the back half of the BA top 500 draft prospect list, with both profiling as potential fifth starter types. Nordlin, as a 19 year old JuCo guy, was potentially a tough sign due to being a 19 year old JuCo pitcher with a fair amount of eligibility remaining. Eubanks, as a redshirt sophomore with two years of eligibility remaining, also had more leverage due to being potentially draft-eligible both in 2018 and 2019.
Perusing the AZL roster that is currently up, Joey Jarneski, the Rangers’ 12th round pick, is listed, so he’s apparently been signed. BA listed him as being drafted as a RHP, but the AZL roster has him as a shortstop. He could, like Michael Main back in 2007, get a look initially as both a position player and a pitcher.
Obie Ricumstrict isn’t listed as having signed by BA, nor is he on the currently released Arizona League roster for the Rangers; however, a story from last week indicated that he had signed for a “3rd round pick signing bonus,” and that he was reporting to Arizona on Monday of this week, so presumably he’s also signed. Ricumstrict is a shortstop who was drafted out of Mt. Pleasant High School in Michigan, and if he got a third round level bonus, the Rangers must have really liked him.