Angels sign first-round pick Kaleb Cowart for $2.3 million

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There are going to be an absurd number of draft pick signings to announce today because midnight is the deadline for deals to be reached before teams cease controlling a player’s rights.
This morning there were 17 unsigned first-round picks, but that number if now 16 with the Angels convincing Georgia high school infielder and No. 18 pick Kaleb Cowart to pass up a scholarship to Florida State for a $2.3 million bonus.
Jim Callis of Baseball America lists Diamondbacks first rounder Barret Loux and Dodgers first rounder Zach Lee as the least likely first-round picks to sign before midnight. Loux because he failed a physical exam in July and Lee because it’s been assumed all along that he plans to play college football at LSU.
For the most part, though, expect the vast majority of high-round picks–including Bryce Harper–to come to terms at some point tonight.

Dallas Keuchel could make season debut on Friday vs. Nationals

Dallas Keuchel
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Braves manager Brian Snitker is hoping recently-signed starter Dallas Keuchel will make his season debut on Friday when the Braves open a 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Nationals, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. For now, the Braves have not officially named a starter for Friday.

After spending seven months as a free agent, Keuchel finally inked a one-year, $13 million contract with the Braves on June 6. He tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in his first start with Single-A Rome, then gave up three runs on 11 hits across seven innings for Double-A Mississippi on Saturday.

Last year, his final season with the Astros, Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old supposedly worried prospective teams due to his declining strikeout rate.

Keuchel is hoping to continue the Braves’ momentum, as the club has won 9 of its last 10 games and is 12-3 overall in June thus far, building up a 2.5-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.