The San Diego Padres took Maurice Hampton in the 23rd round of the most recent MLB Draft. Hampton was a top 50 draft prospect on any board you can find, but his commitment to LSU was strong enough to ward off potential suitors.
It might seem like a wasted pick for the Padres, but it looks like it might be perfectly planned to give a real shot at Hampton signing with the team.
Don’t get it twisted, it is safe to assume Hampton is going to LSU to play both football and baseball. But Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune says there is an “outside chance” that both sides come to an agreement.
Here are the facts, Hampton is likely heading to college. However, the Padres went college heavy in the early rounds, with less leverage that means less potential money heading their way. They also signed first rounder, C.J. Abrams, and second rounder Joshua Mears under slot value. That math adds up to being able to give a 23rd rounder more money.
The math turns the wrong way here, however. Hampton reportedly is looking for a signing bonus of $2.75 million. Anything over $100K would cut deeply into the Padres draft pool money, which totals $10,758,900.
I’m not here to say miracles will happen because the odds are they won’t. But if the Padres work it out, they will have two of the top hitting talents on this years draft board in Abrams and Hampton. Plus the huge power upside in Mears.
This is something worth keeping an eye on, but that is about it. Either way, this was well played by the Padres front office. They were able to find a way to carve out some money to try to sway Hampton without giving up talent in the other rounds.
The book is not closed on Hampton just yet, but its not exactly wide open. The Padres certainly appear as if they were planning for this all along, which bodes well. Still, the odds are such that Hampton will be donning LSU across his chest next year.