The deadline to sign 2015 draft picks was last Friday. By that time, many of the Nationals’ more prominent early-round choices were warming up for games in the Gulf Coast League or short-season ball, long since signed and sent to work. The Nationals have signed 30 of their 40 draft picks and, more significantly, 18 of their first 20. Later-round picks can be tougher to sign, as they may opt to return to school to improve their stock. Early-round picks, particularly those in the first 10 rounds subject to signing bonus pool restrictions, are the more crucial determinants of signing success.
The Nationals signed their first 13 picks, including their first 10 at around $752,900 less than their combined slot values. They gave South Carolina second baseman Max Schrock, their 13th-round pick, a $500,000 signing bonus, highest after the first 10 rounds of any bonus given this year at the time he signed in late June. Schrock is hitting .255 in 15 games with short-season Auburn this summer.
The highest pick the Nationals did not sign is left-handed pitcher Mack Lemieux, their 14th-round pick. The Florida high schooler is a Florida Atlantic commit, and will apparently honor that commitment. Seven of their final eight picks did not sign, as would be expected for late-rounders who may benefit from playing more college ball to improve their stock.
The Nationals went over assigned slot value for only one of their picks in the first 10 rounds, reaching by $33,900 for eight-round pick Koda Glover, a reliever most recently of Oklahoma State who moved from Auburn to Low-A Hagerstown after three games and has struck out six batters in six innings with the Suns.
All of those first 10 picks were sent to either the Gulf Coast League Nationals or Auburn. Glover is the only one to advance as high as Low-A so far.