PBR Mailbag: Why Did Brendan McKay Fall To The 34th Round?

By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

The draft has concluded, but the coverage hasn’t. I’ll post a few final thoughts this week and when the signing deadline passes, we’ll take a look at who is headed to school and who opted for pro ball.

Several questions were sent in about the draft, a few of which are below, but the most common one was why wasn’t Player X drafted? There is one overarching answer to that: Player X didn’t sign because 1) signability, 2) scouts didn’t think he was ready for pro ball or 3) a combination of both. Because the slot value for every pick after the 10th round is $100,000 and there is no penalty for not signing one of those players, there is little difference between going undrafted and getting picked in the 25th round. Players that weren’t pick are now free agents, but if they sign with a team, anything over $100,000 counts toward the team’s bonus pool. It’s difficult for large bonuses to be handed out after the 10th round because of that, which pushes a lot of kids to school. I skimmed through the 2012-2013 drafts—the first ones under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement—and found just four players that signed for more than $500,000 and they all came in 2013.

Why did LHP Brendan McKay (Blackhawk HS, PA) drop to the 34th round when most publications and scouting services had him projected anywhere from the second to 10th?
One word: signability. Scouts I talked to felt McKay fit in the fourth- to sixth-round range based on talent. The first pick of the fourth round has an assigned value of $494,800. Given that McKay fell to the 34th round, I imagine that teams didn't feel he would sign for that amount or he said no if a team called, asking if he'd sign in a particular round.

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