Earlier in the week, the Red Sox made the most important signing they’ll make in their draft class, getting first-round pick Tanner Houck into the organization. While he’s the best player they drafted, there was never any doubt he’d sign. The same mostly goes for their second pick, outfielder Cole Brannen, but since he was a high school player there was at least a small amount of doubt. That can go away now, as Brannen has agreed to terms with the Red Sox.
Brannen is a very talented prospect and is probably the second-best player the organization took in this draft. It goes without saying that getting him into the minor-league system as quickly as possible is a good thing. With that being said, he did sign for a little more than I was expecting. Although I was expecting the high schooler to sign for more than the slot value, the $300,000 more than slot was a bit higher than I expected. That will have an impact on some other signings in rounds four through seven. Third-round pick Brett Netzer will almost certainly sign under slot, but the question now becomes by how much, as the Red Sox try to find enough room to sign everyone else. Keep in mind that there are harsh penalties associated with going over your draft allotment by more than five percent, and no team ever does it. Boston has a plan here, it’s just not clear what that is right now.
If you’re interested, you can find more on Brannen here.