With the Season 21 draft having just transpired, I wanted to look at what the highest bonuses paid for a drafted player. The following is a list of the highest bonuses paid by each franchise to a draft pick.
Not surprisingly, the vast majority of players on the list are first rounders, with nine franchises having awarded their highest bonus to a player outside of the first round. That is, about 28% of the players on the list are not from the first round. One franchise, Syracuse, has two players topping off at $7M and are represented with an "*" next to their bonus.
The highest bonus goes to the ninth overall pick in Season 20, Chuck Allen, at a whopping $12.9M. While you could argue that Allen is worth every penny, that bonus was more than the starting Prospect budget for 16 of the 32 teams that season. In other words, half the teams wouldn't have started with enough Prospect monies to pay Allen the bonus. One other interesting stat, only one first overall pick is on the list, Chip Greenwood.
The lowest drafted player on the list, Jeromy Milton, signed for almost $5M and never saw the majors. However, the biggest bust has to be Detroit handing over $9.7M for Hal Bacsik. Bacsik, drafted in season 6 in the 4th round and 129th overall, never amounted to much.
The most perplexing case goes to Ismael Hernandez. Taken, by then Philadelphia with the 4th overall pick. Hernandez was signed to a $7.5M bonus, but retired the following season after what appears to be a mysterious case of having never been assigned to a minor league squad. What a waste.