CHICAGO - Two people familiar with the situation say the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a deal with No. 2 draft pick Kris Bryant for the slot signing bonus of around $6.7 million, and the Chicago Tribune reported the third baseman from the University of San Diego likely will begin his professional career with the Boise Hawks.
Bryant said on draft day he was ready to play in Chicago right away, but the organization will start him in Class A and hope he progresses quickly. His last organized game was June 2, when USD faced UCLA at an NCAA regional.
"We need to get a feel on how rusty he is," Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer told the Tribune. "He probably hasn't faced any live pitching, though he's been hitting in a cage. Once we get a feel for his conditioning, we'll figure out exactly what the right path is."
A 6-foot-5, 210-pound prospect from Las Vegas, Bryant led Division I college players with 31 home runs as a junior last season. He also was first in runs, walks and slugging percentage.
The slot value for the second pick is $6,708,400. Signing at that value will give Bryant the highest bonus since new draft rules were instituted last year.
Mark Appel, the Stanford pitcher who was selected first by the Houston Astros, signed for $6.35 million, about $1.5 million below his slot value. Appel made his pro debut July 5 in short-season Class A and was promoted to the Astros' full-season A team in the Midwest League after two brief starts.