The Royals introduced first-round pick Nick Pratto on Monday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. They also spent the past weekend coming to terms with their second-round selection.
Catcher M.J. Melendez, a high school catcher from Palmetto Bay, Fla., has agreed to terms on a $2.1 million signing bonus, according to multiple reports. The bonus is $804,300 over the slot value ($1,295,700) for the No. 52 pick in the draft.
Melendez was committed to play college baseball at Florida International, where his father, Mervyl, is the head coach. The Royals believed that Melendez, 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, was the best high school catcher in the draft.
The Royals signed Pratto for a reported $3.45 million, which was under the slot value of $3,727,600 for the 14th overall pick. The savings on the top selection helped the Royals convince Melendez to skip school and begin his professional career.
The Royals have also reportedly come to terms with five of their top six selections. Third-round pick Daniel Tillo, a left-hander from Iowa Western Community College, agreed to a $557,500 signing bonus, more than $47,000 under slot value ($607,300), according to Jim Callis of MLB.com. Fourth-round pick Michael Gigliotti, a center fielder from Lipscomb University, signed for $397,500, under the slot value of $441,700. And fifth-round pick Charlie Neuweiler, a right-handed high school pitcher from Queens, New York, signed for $397,500, more than $67,000 above the slot value ($329,800) for the pick.
The Royals’ total spending pool for draft bonuses is $8,076,900. If teams outspend their total bonus pool, they face penalties such as taxes on the overage and the potential loss of draft picks.