News broke yesterday that the Red Sox had signed draft pick Williams Jerez for a bonus of just under hafl-a-million dollars. Despite the fact that it's been more than one month since the draft, and Jerez was the fifth player drafted by the Sox after four first and supplementary round picks, Jerez holds the distinction of being the highest and most expensive pick signed by the Red Sox this year.
In fact, only one other top-10 pick has signed with the Sox this year: Miguel Pena, who required only $85,000 to be lured away from Lubbock Christian.
The Sox have had some quick signings from the lower rounds of the draft. All-in-all, the Sox have signed 16 players from their 2011 draft contracts, including four with six-digit signing bonuses. They've even seen some early returns in the minor leagues, with Kent State's Travis Shaw hitting .329/.467/.671 in his first 21 games with the Lowell Spinners.
That being said, there's a ton of work left to do. First-round catcher Blake Swihart and supplementary pick Jackie Bradley Jr. have both talked up their college commitments, while signability pick Senquez Golson has lived up to his reputation, and seems entirely ready to head to school come the fall. Even their top pick Matt Barnes remains unsigned.
Still, though, the fact that all these players have still not been locked up speaks as much to the quality of the Sox' draft as anything else. For high-talent picks with high-bonus potential, there's no real reason to sign before the last possible day to see if they can boost up the club's offer. Consider Anthony Ranaudo from last year, who waited until the very last minute to sign for $2.5 million. In fact, Ranaudo was the last of a long list of players to sign that final day, including the team's second, third, and fourth round picks.
One month out, we know next to nothing about this draft. One month more, and we'll have the whole story.