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Handful of Hoosiers sign pro deals

After a historic MLB Draft for IU last week decisions are beginning to come one after another

Last week IU set a new program record by having 10 players selected in the MLB Draft.
Auston Matricardi

Over the last few days Hoosiers have begun to sign professional contracts both as draftees and free agents. The majority of the 11 players from 2019’s IU roster who got the opportunity to turn pro have now reportedly signed deals with their respective organizations and are preparing to begin their pro careers.

Tanner Gordon was one of the first Hoosiers to go off the board, getting drafted in the sixth round. He also became one of the first Hoosiers to make a decision, agreeing to a deal with the Atlanta Braves. On Tuesday, David O’Brien of The Athletic reported that the Braves had signed each of their first 10 selections from this year’s draft, Gordon among them. Slot value for the right-hander is $257,400, but his actual signing bonus has yet to be announced. Within the Braves organization, Gordon could be getting assigned to either the rookie-level Danville Braves or the Gulf Coast League Braves. Atlanta doesn’t have a short-season affiliate which limits the options a bit more for new draftees.

Joining Gordon in foregoing his final year of eligibility at IU is Scotty Bradley. On Monday Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith tweeted out a list of signees including the Toronto Blue Jays’ 36th round pick. The Jays do have a short-season affiliate, the Vancouver Canadians, as well as rookie-level affiliates in the Bluefield Blue Jays and the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays. Bradley’s first professional home should be with one of these clubs.

Another player who appears to be leaving school early is Cam Beauchamp. The junior recently changed his Twitter bio to include “LHP in the Philadelphia Phillies organization” after being selected by the team in the 36th round of the draft last week. The Phillies have a short-season affiliate, the Williamsport Crosscutters, but it’s just as likely that Beauchamp will end up in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League where the organization has a pair of teams.

While there were a handful of underclassmen in the class with decisions to make, there were also some recently graduated seniors with no eligibility remaining who had fairly easy decisions to make.

Matt Lloyd was one of those players. After a strong career in Bloomington, he was selected in the 15th round by the Cincinnati Reds and on Wednesday MLB Daily Dish’s Andersen Pickard reported that the slugger had come to terms on a deal with the club. His signing bonus has yet to be reported, but his slot value is $125,000. The Reds have a Gulf Coast League affiliate as well as two other rookie-level teams—the Billings Mustangs and the Greeneville Reds.

Pauly Milto has been confirmed as a signing for the Chicago White Sox. The Hoosier ace has been assigned to the rookie-level Great Falls Voyagers of the Pioneer League after being a 23rd round draft pick last week. Milto continues a line of Hoosiers to play for the Voyagers in recent years as Micah Johnson started his pro career with the team back in 2012, Craig Dedelow played there in 2017 and just last year both Jon Stiever and Logan Sowers were on the Great Falls roster.

The final Hoosier picked on draft day was Cade Bunnell. The 40th rounder didn’t wait long to put pen to paper with the Atlanta Braves. Like Gordon, he could be looking at a rookie ball assignment with either the Danville Braves or the Gulf Coast League Braves.

Now there are just a few Hoosiers remaining on the fence. There’s been no word yet on Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Andrew Saalfrank, who was drafted in the sixth round by the Arizona Diamondbacks and has a signing bonus slot value of $268,200. The same is true for slugger Elijah Dunham, who was drafted in the 40th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. IU commit Reese Sharp has also yet to publicly make a decision about whether or not he will sign with the San Francisco Giants, who picked him in the 28th round and can offer a six-figure signing bonus, or head to Bloomington to play for the Hoosiers.