Report: Stephan signs with Yankees for over slot value

By: Matt Jones
Published: Friday, June 16, 2017
Arkansas starting pitcher Trevor Stephan long-tosses with a teammate Thursday, June 1, 2017, during practice at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville. Teams spent the day practicing ahead of today's opening round of games in the NCAA Fayetteville Regional baseball tournament.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas starting pitcher Trevor Stephan long-tosses with a teammate Thursday, June 1, 2017, during practice at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville. Teams spent the day practicing ahead of today's opening round of games in the NCAA Fayetteville Regional baseball tournament.

— Trevor Stephan reportedly signed with the New York Yankees on Friday, ending a one-year stay as pitcher for the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Stephan signed for $800,000, according to MLB.com, a 35.9 percent increase over MLB's slot value for his position in the draft. The Yankees have yet to announce the signing, but the signing was expected. Stephan was set to fly to Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday to meet with team officials at the Yankees' spring training site.

The Yankees chose Stephan with the 92nd overall pick in the third round Tuesday. The slot value for the pick was $588,700. Players with remaining college eligibility often can leverage signing bonuses higher than their assigned slot value.

The signing ends a whirlwind year for Stephan, who went from a relatively unknown junior college pitcher to one of the top arms in the SEC. Stephan ascended to the No. 1 position on Arkansas' staff late in the season and finished the year with 2.87 ERA and a team-high 120 strikeouts, including 10 or more in four of his final five outings.

He was named the SEC and National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association pitcher of the week following a one-hitter in a seven-inning complete game at Tennessee.

"It was pretty brief, but it was a year I'll never forget," Stephan said. "It was incredible. The fans are awesome. I'll be forever thankful for the year I spent at Arkansas."

Stephan was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 18th round last year, but turned down that organization to pitch for Arkansas. The 2017 season was only his third as a pitcher. He was an infielder in high school.

"Some of those guys are the best guys," Arkansas pitching coach Wes Johnson said of pitchers new to the position. "They come in and they don't have any preconceived notions. They're thrown into the fire and they just know it's hot; they don't care, they're just going to go out there and throw it. Sometimes those guys progress faster."

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