Braves Sign Ninth-Round Pick To Above-Slot Bonus

The Atlanta Braves used some of the extra cash they had on hand by not having a high first-round pick to sign one of their under-drafted players from this year's MLB First Year Player Draft. David Rohm is a pure hitter. He was a red-shirt freshman at Fresno City College, ending up there after suffering an arm injury in 2009 and being released from his scholarship at Fresno State.

He was expected to get drafted anywhere from the fifth to the eighth round, but fell to the ninth-round where the Braves drafted him. He had expressed a willingness to return to school (he had a scholarship to USC) if he didn't go higher in the draft, so to sign him the Braves gave him a bonus almost twice the recommended slot bonus for his draft position. Rohm received a $245,000 bonus, and the Braves apparently knew what they were doing drafting him and signing him:

"Not a lot of people get a chance to follow their dream, but with this decision, I can," Rohm said. "Negotiations went real well. The Braves knew before drafting me the amount I was asking. They went above the slot money just as I asked. So I agreed." [...]

Rohm played first base for the Rams, but will start out in right field in the Braves' farm system.

"We think David has a chance to be a good offensive player," said Tom Davis, the Braves' West Coast crosschecker. "He has one of the most compact swings I've seen this season. He can put the barrel of the bat on the ball quickly. He's very strong from the elbows to the hands and has very large hands. He's a good athlete who works hard.

"We're tickled to death we got him."

Read more here. It looks like the Braves got a real steal and great value with this pick, which seems to be emerging as a major theme for the Braves 2010 draft.

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