Kansas City, Mo. Beating the deadline by minutes for the second year in a row, the Kansas City Royals signed power-hitting high school infielder Eric Hosmer on Friday night.
Drafted third overall, the left-handed hitter provides the power potential so desperately needed by the offensively impoverished and perennially last-place Royals. They went into their weekend series at New York near the bottom of the American League in runs, RBIs and home runs.
Tim Melville, a promising high school pitcher taken in the fourth round of the amateur draft, agreed earlier Friday to a minor-league contract for a $1.25 million signing bonus.
Mike Moustakas, a power-hitting infielder selected with the second overall choice last year, agreed to a $4 million signing bonus just a few minutes before the deadline. Like Hosmer, Moustakas was represented by Scott Boras.
Melville, a right-handed high school pitcher from Wentzville, Mo., was widely thought to possess first-round talent but slid to the fourth round because clubs thought he might be difficult to sign.
"I'm really excited," Melville said during a conference call. "I'm going to Arizona tomorrow and get started."
He admitted he was disappointed at first that he slid to the fourth round.
"But after draft day, I was happy. I came to realize that it always works out in the end," he said.
Melville said he spoke with Hosmer a couple of weeks ago but declined to speculate on what he possible future teammate would do.
Melville, 6-foot-5, 205, has a fastball in the mid-90s, a curveball and changeup. He was 8-1 as a senior with a 2.56 earned-run average and 89 strikeouts in 52 innings. Baseball America rated him 15th overall among this year's prospects. He hopes to be in the majors in three years.