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2016 MLB Draft: High School Draft Picks Analysis

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Now that the signing deadline has passed, what teams were most successful in signing their high school draft picks? Who left money on the table that should've been used to sign prep draftees?

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Five years into the new draft rules, teams and players look to have accepted the new realities it put in place with bonus pools and slot allotments. This year's top ten rounds had the fewest number of unsigned players ever, with only two players not signing - Pirates second round pick and prep lefty Nick Lodolo; and Astros 7th round pick Tyler Buffett. Lodolo could've been signed for about $83,000 over slot at $1.659 million, but it wasn't enough to talk him out of reporting to TCU to start his college career. Buffett was a surprising player to not sign, as he could've been offered just under $203,000, which seems plenty for a college reliever with average stuff. Apparently he really wanted to go back for his senior season.

The low number of players unsigned in the top ten rounds means a few things. One, it means that teams are not wasting those draft picks on players unless they have a very good idea the player is signable, and how much money they need to save with later underslot deals. And two, it means players - especially prep players - have realized it is unlikely that they will increase their value by holding out and going to college. But how likely is it that a prep player picked in rounds 11-40 will sign? And are certain teams more successful converting prep picks into minor league talent? Let's take a look:

Team R 1-10 HS Signed R 11-20 HS Signed R 21-30 HS Signed R 31-40 HS Signed Total Total Signed % Signed Bonus Pool
Angels 4 4 2 1 2 0 1 1 9 6 66.7% $298,340
Astros 1 1 0 0 1 0 3 0 5 1 20.0% $50
Athletics 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 0 6 3 50.0% $167,375
Blue Jays 2 2 5 2 5 2 5 1 17 7 41.2% $236,095
Braves 4 4 2 2 2 2 4 0 12 8 66.7% $160,360
Brewers 2 2 3 1 2 2 1 1 8 6 75.0% $1,001
Cardinals 3 3 1 1 2 0 2 1 8 5 62.5% $85,165
Cubs 0 0 0 0 1 0 8 1 9 1 11.1% $12,455
Diamondbacks 2 2 1 1 4 1 1 0 8 4 50.0% $373,995
Dodgers 3 3 2 1 1 1 3 1 9 6 66.7% $25
Giants 0 0 1 1 2 2 2 0 5 3 60.0% $4,445
Indians 5 5 3 1 3 0 7 0 18 6 33.3% $47,980
Mariners 1 1 1 0 2 1 7 0 11 2 18.2% $591,100
Marlins 3 3 0 0 0 0 3 0 6 3 50.0% $322,295
Mets 0 0 4 3 6 2 7 1 17 6 35.3% $300,784
Nationals 3 3 1 0 0 0 7 0 11 3 27.3% $22,275
Orioles 3 3 2 1 2 0 3 0 10 4 40.0% $377,290
Padres 4 4 5 4 3 0 4 0 16 8 50.0% $68,615
Phillies 3 3 3 3 2 1 4 0 12 7 58.3% $190,160
Pirates 3 2 1 1 1 0 1 1 6 4 66.7% $83,595
Rangers 4 4 2 2 4 3 2 1 12 10 83.3% $38,025
Rays 4 4 1 0 4 0 4 0 13 4 30.8% $989,055
Red Sox 2 2 3 1 4 1 7 0 16 4 25.0% $114,770
Reds 3 3 3 1 2 0 7 0 15 4 26.7% $722,785
Rockies 2 2 0 0 0 0 7 0 9 2 22.2% $721,870
Royals 2 2 0 0 1 1 5 2 8 5 62.5% $43,265
Tigers 1 1 0 0 1 1 7 1 9 3 33.3% $30,715
Twins 5 5 2 2 2 1 2 0 11 8 72.7% $550,275
White Sox 1 1 0 0 1 0 7 0 9 1 11.1% $557,430
Yankees 2 2 3 2 2 0 6 0 13 4 30.8% $760

Totals: 73 72 52 32 63 22 130 12 318 138 Median Pool $137,565
% signed: R 1-10: 98.6% R 11-20: 61.5% R 21-30: 34.9% R 31-40: 9.2% Total: 43.4% Average Pool $237,078

Overall, 43.4% of high school draft picks signed in the 2016 draft. However, where the player was drafted significantly impacted the likelihood of a prepster being signed. While all but one prep pick signed in the top ten rounds, only 9.2% of those picked in rounds 31-40 signed. The players picked in the last ten rounds were usually unsignable players that teams were trying to forge relationships with for later drafts. In rounds 11-20, 3 out of every 5 picks were signed, while that rate dropped to 1 out every 3 in rounds 21-30. There's about a 25-30% drop in signability in each group of ten rounds.

The team that was most successful in signing their prep draft picks was the Texas Rangers, both in total number - 10 out of 12 picks - and in percentage - 83%! Three teams only signed one high school player - the Astros, the Cubs, and the White Sox. The Cubs and White Sox had the lowest percentage, though, as they went 1/9, with only 11% of their prep picks signing. There must be something in the Chicago water! (Of course, the Cubs had very little money to go after high schoolers)

The Rays left almost a million dollars on the table, but didn't sign any of the 9 high school players they picked after the tenth round - that seems to be a missed opportunity to add talent a a cheap cost. The Reds were second in unspent bonus money, but they recently agreed to terms with undrafted University of Nevada sophomore TJ Friedl. There's no word on the bonus, which counts against the draft pool, but early rumors are that it's for more than $400,000. The teams that spent all of their money are the Dodgers and Astros, with under $100 each.But most teams spent most of their money, with the average remaining pool available being about $237,000, and the median being about $137,000.

I personally will be looking at this data next year to gauge how likely shadow draft prep targets are to sign. But looking at this information, what do you find most surprising or interesting? Are you happy with your team's success in signing prep players and using their bonus pool?

*Bonus Pool data from Baseball America's draft database.