Posted by: bhyman | August 16, 2008

Alvarez and Hosmer each get $6 million

The top two remaining picks who had yet to sign, Vanderbilt’s Pedro Alvarez and Eric Hosmer of American Heritage High School, have agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals, respectively. Alvarez and Hosmer both agreed to minor league contract with $6 million bonuses.  Those contracts tie for the third highest bonus ever awarded behind Buster Posey (fourth overall) and Tim Beckham (first overall). 2007 fourth-overall pick Matt Wieters also signed a minor league contract worth $6 million.

Alvarez was in line to be the second consecutive top pick from Vanderbilt (left-handed pitcher David Price was picked first overall last year by the Tampa Bay Rays) when a wrist injury sidelined him for the first six weeks of the season. When he came back, he played well but not to the level of his freshman and sophomore campaigns. When he’s right, his power and plate discipline are strengths and he’s a capable defender at third base. Some believe that Alvarez would move to first base and he fills out and moves through the minor leagues. We ranked him eighth overall in our pre-draft rankings.

Hosmer has drawn comparisons to fellow Floridian and Atlanta Braves first baseman Casey Kotchman for his huge power and bat speed. Hosmer needs some refinement at the plate and more in the field, where he has the ability to be a capable defender but has not realized his potential. His arm speed is another plus: he threw 95 mph as American Heritage’s closer. We ranked him 13th overall in our pre-draft rankings.

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