Red Sox set to finalize deal with first-rounder Trey Ball
|06.19.13 at 9:24 am ET|
According to multiple industry sources, the Red Sox’ deal with first-round pick Trey Ball is in the last stages before becoming official. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 draft is expected to sign today, with a media introduction to follow.
UPDATE, 4:12 p.m.: The deal is now official. Ball signed for a bonus of $2.75 million, nearly $500,000 less than his $3.246 million slot recommendation at the No. 7 pick.
The athletic left-hander out of New Castle High School in Indiana was in Boston to take his physical on Monday, and no issues emerged that would jeopardize the agreement. While precise terms remain unknown, Ball has agreed to a deal for less than the $3.246 million recommended slot value.
While one source suggested that Ball’s bonus will not be significantly less than slot, it is believed that between the deal that he ultimately takes and the under-slot agreement for $1.1 million with second-rounder Teddy Stankiewicz (about $130,000 under slot), those two bonuses were sufficient to cover the overage for third-rounder Jon Denney, who agreed to a $875,000 bonus — roughly $204,000 over his recommended slot.
Ball went 6-0 with a 0.76 ERA, 93 strikeouts and 13 walks in 46 innings as a senior while showing fastball velocity in the 91-94 mph range despite pitching in a cold-weather climate in the Midwest. Red Sox director of player personnel Dave Finley, who scouted Ball as well as fellow left-handers Jon Lester when the Red Sox took him with their first pick (second round) of the 2002 draft and Henry Owens when the Sox made him a supplemental first-round selection out of high school in 2011.
“All three are pretty similar. Obviously all high school pitchers, all left-handed, all with good stuff,” said Finley. “Lester was a two-way player, played center field, first base, and obviously a left-handed pitcher. Trey Ball is a very good athlete who played center field, hit in the middle of the lineup when he didn’t pitch. And Henry Owens was just a pitcher in high school, but built similar to Trey Ball — both real tall, lanky, projectable left-handed pitchers, where Lester was projectable but probably a little more physical at that time, too.
“Trey’s velocity was pretty remarkable throughout the year. Being in a cold-weather state and having that velocity was pretty promising,” he added. “Trey Ball and Henry Owens’ stuff was pretty similar in high school. Trey’s may be a little better than Henry’s at the same stage. Henry was 87-93, Ball was 88-94. Both their curveballs were good. Trey’s was a little better, a little tighter. Both their changeups were real good. Both project to be plus. Henry Owens, as you guys have seen with us, his changeup as a pro has been real good. Comparing them to Lester, velocity about the same. Lester was up to 94 when I saw him. His curveball was not as good as Henry Owens’ or Trey Ball’s at the time, and his changeup was probably a tick less, too. But what Lester had was a real good cutter, which the other two guys didn’t.”
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