Dodgers Rumors: First-Round Draft Pick Michael Busch Signs For Full Slot Value
North Carolina infielder Michael Busch during the 2018 College World Series
Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers focused on collegiate players in the 2019 MLB Draft, as they selected just one prep player in their first 20 picks. After taking Kody Hoese out of Tulane with the No. 20 overall pick, the Dodgers drafted North Carolina first baseman Michael Busch at No. 31.

They received an additional first-round pick in this year’s draft as compensation for failing to sign J.T. Ginn last summer. He was taken 30th overall but never came to terms and wound up attending Mississippi State.

While the Dodgers have officially announced the signing of several of their picks in the 2019 Draft, and reports have suggested others also reached agreements, Busch was noticeably absent from both groups.

That’s since changed, however, as he and the Dodgers reportedly came to terms on a deal worth the full slot value of this year’s No. 31 draft pick, according to Jim Callis of

The Dodgers have managed to remain under slot value for most of their signings this year.

Busch played first base during his time with the Tar Heels but was drafted by the Dodgers as a second baseman. He’s drawn comparisons to newly-minted All-Star Max Muncy, particularly with Busch also being a left-handed hitter.

He regressed some from a standout sophomore year, though still hit .294/.442/.575 with 14 doubles, 16 home runs and 57 RBI last season. Along with first base and second base, Busch also has experience playing left field.

“Michael is a guy who we thought was one of the better bats in the Cape, both in terms of performance and swing, as well as overall defensive versatility,” Dodgers scouting director Billy Gasparino said after the first day of the Draft.

“He’s been a staple in the UNC program. They rave about his makeup and his character, and we’re excited to add him to our organization.”

The Dodgers overall made a total of 41 selections in the 2019 MLB Draft — 34 of which were college players. They added a haul of 20 pitchers (12 right-handers, eight left-handers), 10 outfielders, nine infielders and two catchers.