Signing Deadline Winners, Losers And Sleepers

Nathan Rode and Shooter Hunt

The signing deadline for the 2018 MLB Draft passed at 5 p.m. EST on Friday, July 6, and there was no shortage of drama with the four unsigned players being from the top 36 picks. RHP Carter Stewart (Eau Gallie HS, FL) was the highest-drafted player to not sign as the eighth overall selection to the Atlanta Braves. At No. 25, the Arizona Diamondbacks failed to sign SS Matt McLain (Beckman HS, CA) while the Los Angeles Dodgers couldn’t come to terms with RHP J.T. Ginn (Brandon HS, MS). Finally, RHP Gunnar Hoglund (Fivay HS, FL), the No. 36 pick, didn’t sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Today, we take a look at winners, losers and sleepers from the signing deadline as players head to campus or start their professional careers.

Big Winners

Mississippi State’s 2018 recruiting class has always been strong, but figured to take a hit in the draft, especially after Stewart and Ginn were taken in the first round. They also had RHP Cole Winn (Orange Lutheran HS, CA) committed, but he ultimately flipped to Texas Christian right before the draft—though it was mostly a moot point by then. However, the Bulldogs were celebrating last week as both Ginn and Stewart announced that they wouldn’t be signing. There is still speculation about Stewart and whether or not he’ll try the junior college route, but even the prospect of getting two first-round arms on campus is a huge win for Mississippi State. All that is on top of the wild season the Bulldogs had with an early coaching change, dramatic run to the College World Series and an official hiring of a new head coach in Chris Lemonis.

Down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana State has reason to celebrate. The signability of SS Brice Turang (Santiago HS, CA) was clouded this spring and there was some thought that he could forgo pro ball, but that didn’t come to pass. While the needle probably did fluctuate for him, it was likely pointed toward signing most of the time. Nonetheless, the Tigers still bring in a strong class. Not only will they get OFs Zach Watson and Antoine Duplantis and RHP Zack Hess back, but they’ll also import RHPs Jaden Hill (Ashdown HS, LA), Landon Marceaux (Destrehan HS, LA) and Cole Henry (Florence HS, AL) and C/3B C.J. Willis (Ruston HS, LA).

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