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Hunter Renfroe likely to sign contract this week with San Diego Padres


Hunter Renfroe likely to sign with San Diego Padres this week.

Hunter Renfroe likely to sign with San Diego Padres this week. Photo by: Associated Press



Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Mississippi State University junior outfielder Hunter Renfroe is expected to sign his professional contract with the San Diego Padres organization early this week.  


Sources close to the situation have informed The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog that Renfroe the negotiations between the player and the club have been going more than well and both sides are simply waiting for an appropriate date to make the announcement. Renfroe, who is represented by Bo McKinnis, is expected to announce his signing Tuesday or Wednesday.  


After the final day of Game 2 of the College World Series championship series between UCLA and MSU, San Diego was to begin a 10-game east coast road trip to Miami, Boston and Washington. Padres management have been waiting to schedule a media conference to make the announcement of Renfore signing with the club when the team is back at home before the MLB Draft deadline of Friday at 4 p.m.  


"Before a game I watched, he was crushing balls all over the place. Then he goes out and run and he runs well. And he's got a cannon for an arm in the outfield. Then he goes 93-94 [mph] out of the bullpen," Padres area scout Andrew Salvo said to MLB.com. "I was like something out of 'The Natural'. I think he's going to be like Nelson Cruz-type ... a .270 hitter, hit 25 bombs and can run." 


This week San Diego begins a seven-game homestand against Colorado and San Francisco before the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York.  


Renfroe was selected 13th by the San Diego Padres, becoming the 12th player in MSU history to be taken in the first round. Renfroe was a semifinalist for the USA Baseball's Golden Spikes Award and the NCBWA's Dick Howser Trophy, which are given to the nation's top collegiate player. He also was the first SEC player to be taken in the draft, which was broadcast live on MLB Network. 


"It's pure elation for me and my family," Renfroe said when he was selected in the first round on June 7. "It's just such a surreal feeling to hear your name called and realize you're a first-round draft pick in professional baseball." 


Renfroe's contract bonus is expected to within the $2,678,000 slot value for the 13th overall selection. The 12th pick, University of New Mexico third baseman D.J. Peterson, got a bonus of $2,759,100. The 14th pick, catcher Reese McGuire of Kentwood High School in Covington, Wash., got a signing bonus of $2,369,800. The Padres have spent $4,048,000 of the $6,808,900 bonus pool money they're allowed to spend on their first 10 selections in the 2013 MLB Draft. Renfroe is currently one of seven picks in the first 80 selections that have failed to sign right now.  


According to a 2012 MLB draft rule, prospects selected after the 10th round will not count against the signing bonus pool unless they receive a signing bonus greater of $100,000. MLB and the MLB Players Union created Tuesday what is now referred to as signing bonus pools where each franchise will be assigned an aggregate dollar value they'll be allowed to spend prior to each draft by calculating he sum of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the draft. 


This rule adjustment was created in order to limit the big market organizations from being able to draft a high school prospect or college junior in the later rounds but offer him a bonus to essentially buy their way out of his commitment with a university. 


The draft bonus pools will be relegated by a tax system that potentially penalizes franchises greatly for going over the dollar allotment. Under the current agreement that runs through 2016, if a club spends over the pool allotment by 0-5 percent then they will be taxed 75% tax on that overage. Any overspending by 5-10 percent causes a 75 percent tax on the overage and a loss of 1st round pick. Any spending over 10-15 percent results in a 100 percent tax on overage and loss of 1st and 2nd round picks. Finally, spending over 15 percent will mean a 100 percent tax on overage and loss of 1st round picks in next two drafts. 


According to Baseball America writer Connor Glassey, Renfroe immediately slots in as the Padres third-highest minor league prospect in the organizational system after he signs the contract.  


He has polished his approach and gets to more of his well above-average raw power, though scouts still expect him to swing and miss plenty as a pro," Glassey said. "He's an asset defensively with a powerful arm and above-average speed. The 6-foot-1, 216-pounder fits the right-field profile well if he maintains his improved hitting approach, and he has hit his way into the first round." 


After struggling to find discipline at the plate in his first two seasons at MSU, Renfroe finished the 2013 regular season as the SEC's leader with 15 home runs also sports the league's second best .634 slugging percentage and also ranks among the SEC leaders in batting average (.352), on-base percentage (.440), RBIs (58), hits (80), runs scored (51) and total bases (144). Renfroe was one of three players in the 2013 College World Series to hit a home run. He was first-team All-America selection by Louisville Slugger and first-team All-SEC by the coaches this season. 




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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