Just before the 11:59 p.m. Monday deadline, former Georgia Tech pitcher Jed Bradley signed a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers for an even $2 million. Bradley’s signing was among a flurry of deals made just before the deadline.
According to Baseball America, 13 of the top 15 picks and 22 of the top 33 were unofficially unsigned 10 minutes prior to midnight, including Bradley, who was the No. 15 pick.
Bradley’s adviser did pretty well for him. The player picked ahead of him, Florida high schooler Jose Fernandez, signed with the Florida Marlins for $2 million like Bradley (although Florida has no state income tax, so he may get a little more of the bonus). The player selected No. 16, Stanford pitcher Chris Reed, signed with the Dodgers Friday for a reported $1.589 million signing bonus.
Tech also lost a third signee Monday, shortstop Tyler Gibson of Macon and Stratford Academy. A 15th-round pick, he received a $525,000 signing bonus from the Detroit Tigers, who evidently really wanted Gibson. According to Baseball America, Major League Baseball recommends draft picks past the fifth round receive a maximum of $150,000. Further, Detroit’s top selection, a second-rounder, signed for $577,900.
Tech signee Dwight Smith Jr., the 53rd pick of the draft, signed with the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday. Smith is a McIntosh High grad and the son of former Braves outfielder Dwight Smith. Pitcher Jake Burnette, from Buford High, signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Burnette was a seventh-round pick and was rated the 18th-best player in the state according to Baseball America.
Tech’s three other players selected in the draft, pitcher Mark Pope, shortstop Jacob Esch and third baseman Matt Skole, signed deals and have begun playing in the minor leagues.
Pope is playing with the Eugene Emeralds, the San Diego Padres’ single-A team. Esch is pitching for the Jamestown Jammers, the Florida Marlins’ A team. Third baseman Matt Skole is playing for the Auburn Doubledays, the Washington Nationals’ A team.