CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Marlins have signed No. 2 overall pick Tyler Kolek to a $6 million bonus. The terms were first reported by Jim Callis of MLB.com.
Kolek actually signed for $821,000 under the slot value for the pick, so the Marlins have extra draft pool money to use elsewhere, but Callis notes that it’s still third-highest bonus ever for a high school pitcher. Brady Aiken, who was selected No. 1 overall by the Astros this year, and Pirates prospect Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon each received $6.5 million.
Checking in at a sturdy 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Kolek is an 18-year-old right-hander out of Texas who is best known for his 100 mph fastball. Not surprisingly, he still has some work to do with his command and secondary pitches, but the upside is immense.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.