Seven years after failing to sign a pitcher in the first round who opted to attend UCLA, the Yankees agreed to sign first round draft pick James Kaprielian on Wednesday, who spent three years as a pitcher for the UCLA Bruins, according to Jim Callis.
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) July 15, 2015
Kaprielian, the Yankees highest selection first round selection since 1993, agrees to a deal worth $2.65 million, just north of the recommended slot value of $2,543,300 according to Major League Baseball. As a Scott Boras client, Kaprielian waited until the final days of the signing period to hammer out a deal, just beating Friday’s deadline.
In three seasons at UCLA, Kaprielian compiled a 17-10 record, with an earned run average of 2.06, the last two as the anchor of the Bruins starting rotation. Kaprielian averaged 34 walks, along with 111 strikeouts in each of those seasons. His arsenal features a fastball sitting in the low to mid 90s, a curveball, slider, and changeup.
Kaprielian had been a target for the Yankees over the past calendar year, citing his durability since high school and the potential to quickly move through the ranks of the farm system as primary factors for his selection. After agreeing to the terms of the contract, the Yankees will choose a minor league starting assignment for the right hander within the next week, which will likely be in either in rookie ball or at Class A.