The Braves have officially signed No. 5 draft pick Kyle Wright, the team announced Friday. The 21-year-old right-hander will receive a signing bonus of $7 million, exceeding both the $5,707,300 typically reserved for No. 5 draftees and the $6.7 million signing bonus Kris Bryant received from the Cubs in 2013.
Wright was taken fifth overall in the first round of Monday’s annual amateur draft, though he was projected as high as the No. 1 slot by FanGraphs prior to the draft. He pitched to a 5-6 record with Vanderbilt University in 2017, logging a 3.40 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 10.5 SO/9 through 103 1/3 innings. The righty showed considerable improvement with his command after plunking a team-high 12 batters last year and profiles as a potential front-end starter with an impressive curveball and slider at his disposal. Comments from club GM John Coppolella suggest that he could see time in both the Gulf Coast League and Single-A Rome by the end of 2017.
Per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, the Braves are also expected to sign second-round pick Drew Waters, which will bring the two signing bonuses to a projected $8.7 million. Waters, 18, is a switch-hitting outfielder from Etowah High School. He is expected to report to the Gulf Coast League later this year.