The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to an over-slot deal with eighth round pick Neil Kozikowski, Pirates Prospects has learned from a source with knowledge of the discussions. The deal is for $425,000, which is $155,400 over-slot for the eighth round.
After signing second rounder Blake Taylor to an under-slot deal, the Pirates have $266,000 for over-slot deals without any penalties. Kozikowski’s deal will put them about $5,000 over-budget, although they could still create room with any number of their top ten round picks. They can also spend up to $701,345 in over-slot deals without forfeiting a draft pick. Kozikowski will take his physical later in the week, and should officially sign by the end of the week.
The right-hander wasn’t on the radar in any top draft prospects rankings, but seems like the type of projectable arm the Pirates love. He’s 6′ 4″, 180 pounds, and throws 86-88 MPH but has touched 92. He throws from a 3/4 arm slot, and has a projectable frame, which could give him added velocity in the future. He also has a good changeup, a solid slider, and a cutter. Originally I questioned whether he might be an under-slot candidate, but after considering his commitment to VCU — which has a good baseball program — I thought he might be a little bit more difficult to sign.