The Royals finalized deals with third-round pick Wil Myers and fourth-round pick Chris Dwyer on Monday, hours before the deadline.
That shifts the team’s focus to No. 12 overall pick Aaron Crow, who is exempt from the deadline because he spent this spring playing independent league ball and has no college eligibility remaining.
Myers is primarily a catcher but athletic enough to play other positions, with raw power and a bat that many scouts say would be productive enough regardless of his position. He forgoes a scholarship to play at South Carolina for what’s believed to be a $2 million signing bonus.
Dwyer is a rare draft-eligible freshman at 21 years old whose fastball touches 94 mph with a hard curveball. He’s a good enough athlete that the Boston Globe named him the area’s football player of the year his senior year in high school, with several major colleges showing interest in him as a quarterback.
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His contract includes a $1.45 million signing bonus, which is the biggest for a fourth-round pick in draft history according to Baseball America, which was the first to report the players’ bonuses.
These two signings continue what’s become a trend for the Royals: drafting talented prospects who fall in the draft because of money. Myers’ bonus is more than No. 10 overall pick Drew Storen got from the Nationals, and Dwyer’s is bigger than No. 20 pick Chad Jenkins got from the Blue Jays.
Last year, the Royals signed fourth-round pick Tim Melville for $1.25 million.
The Royals still have Crow to sign. Crow, the former Missouri standout who won the Big 12’s pitcher of the year and a Golden Spikes finalist as a junior, turned down a $3.5 million offer from the Nationals as the ninth pick in last year’s draft.
He pitched for the same Fort Worth independent league team that Luke Hochevar did when he sat out a year before being the first overall pick by the Royals in the 2006 draft.
Crow is exempt from Monday’s deadline and has until a week before next year’s draft to sign with the Royals, who would prefer to get something done in time for Crow to pitch in the Arizona fall league.