Longenecker: A modern history of unsigned first-rounders

From Clint Longenecker at Baseball America on July 22, 2014:

Modern draft history was made Friday when No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken did not come to terms with the Astros, marking the first time since 1983 that the first overall pick in the draft did not sign.

After a stretch from 2003-2007 when only one first-round pick did not sign (Wade Townsend; 2004) in five drafts, this marks the seventh straight season that at least one first-round pick did not agree to terms, spanning back to the 2008 draft. This marks the longest streak of unsigned first-rounders in draft history.

History shows that pitchers have proven to be the tougher signs, as 13 of the last 15 players (87 percent) to go unsigned in the first round have been pitchers, dating back to 2000. The majority of those unsigned (73 percent) come from the high school ranks. With a sample of 26 players overall since 1987, 73 percent of the unsigned first-rounders have been pitchers.

So how have the unsigned first-rounders faired on their subsequent passes through the draft?

Here is a list of every unsigned first-rounder since 1987, when the draft went to a single phase, with the round they were drafted in when they signed and their bonus. A few players were drafted more than twice. Although many of the unsigned players did not reach terms because of money, there are instances of injury, such as in 2010 with Barret Loux, who is the only player on this list who did not reenter the draft after being declared a free agent. For these purposes, the four high school players drafted in the top 12 picks who became free agents because of a loophole have been excluded.


Read the full article here: http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/modern-history-unsigned-first-rounders/

Originally published: July 23, 2014. Last Updated: July 23, 2014.