The Pirates signed the fourth overall pick Termarr Johnson this afternoon, the club announced. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports (Twitter link) he will receive a signing bonus of $7.219 million, slightly above the accompanying slot value of $7.01 million.
The two best selections jackson vacation and Drew Jones were the only players in the class to beat Johnson’s bonus. That’s no surprise, as the left-handed infielder was one of the top five talents available by consensus. FanGraphs and Athleticism each placed Johnson third on their pre-draft standings. He placed fourth at Baseball America and second to ESPN.
Just as there is little disagreement over the 18-year-old’s pedigree, reports of his skills are similar across the board. All four outlets call Johnson a more or better future hitter, praising both his batting skills and his surprising batting speed for a 5’8″ player. Keith Law of the Athletic notes that some scouts think Johnson is the best high school hitter they’ve seen in over a decade, while ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel said his profile is largely reminiscent of that of Jose Ramirez Where Raphael Devers.
It would be unfair to expect a high school player to become a superstar of this caliber, but evaluators praised his offensive edge. Johnson doesn’t have a traditionally throwable frame given his stature, and all four outlets indicate he’s unlikely to stay at shortstop. There’s general agreement that the Atlanta native could be a hard-hitting second baseman in his prime, with FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen pointing to Brandon Lowe as a general composition for this style of player.
With Johnson signed, each of the top ten overall selections agreed to the terms. Everyone selected on the first day of the draft is expected to sign by Monday’s deadline. MLB.com’s Jim Callis wrote this morning that the Mets’ third-round pick Brandon Sproata right-hander from the University of Florida, seems to be the highest selection in favor of pro ball this summer.