Braves, D-backs, Dodgers fail to sign top picks

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The top draft picks of the Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers failed to sign before Friday’s deadline, giving each of those teams an extra selection in the first round of next June’s amateur draft.

Atlanta failed to sign the eighth pick, right-hander Carter Stewart. Also failing to sign were shortstop Matt McLain, selected 25th by the Diamondbacks, and right-hander J.T. Ginn, taken 30th by the Dodgers.

The deadline for draft picks to sign, unless they have exhausted college eligibility, was 5 p.m. ET Friday.

Ginn said he will attend Mississippi State, which also recruited Stewart. The 19-year-old from Brandon High School in Mississippi was selected with the 30th overall pick in last month’s amateur draft, which has a slot value of $2,275,800.

Ginn posted on Instagram, “I had a lot to think about over the last month” and added “after giving it a lot of thought I decided to pursue my lifelong dream of playing college baseball for the Mississippi State Bulldogs!!!”

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves intended to sign Stewart below his slot value, with Stewart’s wrist injury further complicating matters.

McLain plans to attend UCLA.

The Braves will get an extra pick following the originally slated eighth selection next year, Arizona after the 25th, and the Dodgers after the 30th.

Just four first-round picks failed to sign in the six previous years of the current draft system of bonus pools: right-hander Mark Appel (taken eighth by Pittsburgh in 2012), right-hander Phillip Bickford (10th by Toronto in 2013), left-hander Brady Aiken (first by Houston in 2014) and right-hander Kyle Funkhouser (35th by the Dodgers with a compensation selection in 2015 following the loss of Hanley Ramirez to Boston).

Only one other player among this year’s top 300 picks failed to sign, right-hander Gunnar Hoglund, taken 36th by Pittsburgh with a competitive balance Round A selection. Hoglund said he will attend Mississippi and already had started summer classes.

Among those reaching agreements just ahead of the deadline was left-hander Shane McClanahan. Taken by Tampa Bay with the 31st pick as compensation for losing pitcher Alex Cobb as a free agent, he agreed to $2,230,100, which was $5,700 over slot.

Shortstop Brice Turang, taken 21st by Milwaukee, agreed to a $3,411,100 signing bonus, $397,500 above his slot value. West Virginia right-hander Michael Grove, a second-round pick taken by the Dodgers at No. 68, agreed at $1,229,500, which was $312,500 over slot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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