Part two of my two-part pre-signing deadline update on the top Mountain West picks in this years draft (the 1st part can be found here). The signing deadline is tonight at midnight EST, and I'll post a quick update tomorrow detailing some of the guys that signed near the deadline (most picks sign near the midnight deadline). I had planned to post this sooner, but pushed it back due to the conference realignment rumors. In this update I'll start with a couple rumors I've heard so far, and after the jump I'll take a look at Taylor Featherston (TCU), Brandon Meredith (SDSU's top pick), Jason Coats (TCU), and Tanner Peters (UNLV's top pick).
The first rumor I saw today involves Matt Purke, and the latest on him is that it will take a big league deal to get him signed. From ESPN's Kevin Goldstien (via twitter):
More and more RUMORS out there that the #Nationals will get Rendon, Meyer AND Purke done; rumor No. 2 is big league deal for Purke.
A big league deal means the signing club places the player on their 40 man roster (not the 25 man roster, which is the players in the actual big leagues). Sometimes you see players request this because they believe it means they will reach the big leagues faster, since it means sending the player to the minors at the beginning of each year burns one of their options. I think doing this for Purke is incredibly risky given his injury problems this season, plus his being a pitcher might take him some time to get big league ready. But the Nationals seem to believe he's worth it, and as I said in the last update getting all three players would be pretty surprising.
UPDATE: Matt Purke signed with the Nationals via Jim Callis:
Being drafted in the 15th round is deceptive, as $650K is 2nd round type money. This was likely one of SDSU's top recruits.
Taylor Featherston - TCU - 5th Round (168th Overall) by the Colorado Rockies
Featherston played shortstop for the Horned Frogs this season, and a 5th round selection is fairly high so the Rockies must have liked him. Featherston signed on June 30th and has been playing for the Rockies Low A afilliate. His line so far: .217/.303/.349 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 121 PAs. An underwhelming start to his pro career.
Brandon Meredith - SDSU - 6th Round (190th Overall) by the Houston Astros
Meredith was SDSU's top pick in the draft, and the 6th round sounds low but, as I mentioned above, the round for a player is sometimes deceptive. Also the 6th round out of 50 is still fairly high. He signed quickly on June 14th, and has been playing with the Astros low A club. His line so far: .250/.379/.405 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 141 PAs. He's drawing a good amount of walks, strikeout rate is a little high. Power a little light for a corner outfielder so far.
Jason Coats - TCU - 12th Round (365th Overall) by the Baltimore Orioles
Jeff Reese from SBnation's MLB Bonus Baby had this to say about Coats:
||Coats, Jason||Texas Christian||LF||R/R||6'02"||200||2/24/1990||JR|
|This will be a really nice value pick if Baltimore can get him to sign. Coats came in as a top 3 round talent, but his offensive regression did not mesh well with his future positional value. As a corner outfielder - one that doesn't project as anything special there - he needed to continue to prove that his bat was very real. From what I saw, he has good bat speed with a direct path to the ball and a well built athletic frame. The plate discipline looked sound as well, and there's a decent chance he surprises at the next level. Of course, that will require a deal getting done first, and it's more likely that he'll head back to TCU to rebuild his value.|
So he sounds like he has some potential but he hasn't fully realized it yet. Another good example of why draft round can sometimes be deceptive. As of yet he is still unsigned, would not be surprised if he came back to TCU.
Tanner Peters - UNLV - 16th Round (496th Overall) by the Oakland Athletics
Peters had a tremendous year with UNLV with a 1.50 ERA in 120.1 innings, showing good control with only 24 walks. Peters fell to the 16th round however due to his lack of projection. I have read that he is undersized for a pitcher (6'0'' 150 pounds) and his stuff isn't plus. That doesn't mean he won't make the big leagues as there have been examples of pitchers who have found success with his body type and pitching arsenal. He signed quickly on June 14th, and has been pitching for the A's low A affiliate. His line so far: 1.37 ERA in 19.2 innings with 10 saves. It's interesting that he's closing, but that might be to limit his innings after throwing 120 in college this season.