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Milwaukee Brewers Sign 1st Round Pick Corey Ray to Below-Slot Deal

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Milwaukee still has plenty of bonus pool money available to try and sway any tough-to-sign later round picks.

Most Valuable Prospects v Chicago White Sox Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced this morning via Twitter that they’ve reached an agreement with OF Corey Ray, their first round pick (5th overall) from this month’s MLB Draft. Ray, a junior outfielder from Louisville, will receive a bonus of $4.125 mil, according to a tweet from Jon Heyman.

The native of Chicago was considered to be one of the top talents available in this year’s draft class, a potential five-tool player who received high marks for his makeup and work ethic. He hit .310/.388/.545 with 15 home runs and 44 stolen bases during his junior season at Louisville and will begin his career as a center fielder in the Brewers organization.

The slot value assigned to the fifth overall pick was $4,382,200, meaning that Milwaukee saved a total of $257,200 of bonus pool money with their agreement with Ray. The Brewers have now signed all 11 of their picks from the first 10 rounds for a total of $8,723,600 according to our Draft Tracker, which is $640,700 less than their total assigned bonus pool value of $9,364,300.

The Brewers can spend up to 5% more than their pool value before incurring an draft pick losses, meaning that they conceivably have as much as $1,108,915 of money to play with in order to sign any remaining picks from rounds 11-40. That may wind up being rather important, as 11th rounder Chad McClanahan, 16th rounder Louie Crow, and 20th rounder Jared Horn are all talented prep players with college commitments that will be tough to convince to sign.

UPDATE:

The Brewers’ brass of Ray Montgomery, David Stearns, and Tom Flanagan have decided that Corey Ray will begin his career by skipping straight to the high-A Brevard County Manatees, according to Curt Hogg of MLB.com. That is quite an aggressive assignment for a rookie straight out of the draft, and could signal that the Brewers think that Ray is rather advanced and could potentially be following a fast track to the big leagues.