Players who have signed

Reports of NDFAs signing:

Jimmy Endersby, RHP, Concordia Irvine
Justin Dirden, OF, Southeast Missouri State
Cesar Gomez, RHP, Texas Arlington
Peter Zimmerman, INF, Mizzou

4th & 5th rounders reportedly reach agreements

Both of these signings will let us know how much money they have freed up to sign Santos above slot.

Three additional undrafted free agent signings listed on Baseball America:

  • Kyle Gruller, RHP, Houston Baptist
  • Cody Orr, OF, Tiffin (Ohio)
  • Jonathan Sprinkle, RHP, Central Missouri

The three Missouri picks are likely attributable to Astros scout Jim Stevenson. He’s the guy responsible for picking Keuchel, Ramon Laureano, Josh James, Jack Mayfield, and Abraham Toro.


Endersby - 4 seam FB 92-95 with good spin rate. 12-6 curve out of same tunnel, Needs to develop change up. Had transferred from Cal State Fullerton. Redshirted his first year and then transitioned from infielder to pitcher as RS Fresh. Soph year only gets 6.2 innings of work - K’s 10 and he moves on the Concordia. Had 37 K’s in 28 2/3 IP in 2020. Struck out 7 batters in each of his 5 starts.

Gomez - RHP relatively new at pitching. FB 94-97 with curve and change. Started Career at North Central Texas College.

Zimmerman - In Jr year (2019) hit .287 with 10 dbls, 7 HR in 44 games (42 starts). Already had 4 HR in 14 games in 2020 and hitting .333. His patience looks to have improved from 19 to 20. Had 20 walks in full season of 19 and 9 in shortened 20. Had 57 K in 19. Just 7 in 20. Started college at St. Louis, transferred to Jan Jacinto CC before landing at Mizzu for last two seasons. Played mostly 1B

Dirden - LH Hitting OF. Started College at East Carolina - Transferred to Jefferson College (JC) before heading to SE Mo State. Made All Ohio Valley Conference in Jr year - Hit .340 with 19 doubles and 16 HR batting mostly in the 5th spot. Also had 9 stolen bases. Mist 2019 with wrist injury. Was hitting .414 through 17 games in 2020. He had 9 HR and was 9/9 in stolen base attempts.


According to The Athletic, Endersby had 20 teams knocking on his door and he chose the Astros because of their reputation in analytics and being able to develop pitchers. Gomez (signed by Jim Stevenson) also signed with the Astros because of his belief that they would be able to develop him due to a focus on technology and spin rates.

Gruller - Started at Wharton County JC before going to Houston Bapt. . In 2019 12 starts going 3-3 2.18 ERA 85 K/ 38 BB in 74 1/3 IP. Struck out 36 in 23 1/3 in 2020 (17 BB & 5 WP) with a 2.70 ERA. Struck out 9 in 4 2/3 against #3 Texas Tech in season opener allowing just one earned run.

Orr- Played in 34 games as a freshman in 18 for the DII Dragons but hit just .165 in 85 ABs. In 19, he hit .349/.439/.476 in 54 games (189 AB). 8 doubles, 5 triples and 2 HR. 25 BB to 24 K. In 20, he was off to a good start, hitting .412/.535/.676 in the first 9 games. Already had matched his HR total from the previous year. 8 BB to 6 K.

Sprinkle hails from Jim Crane’s alma mater. He was dominate as the closer in 19 for the DII Mules. He had 10 saves and held opponents to a .162 average. Had 67K/11BB in 40 1/3 IP with 7 Wild pitches. In 2020, had 42 Ks/7 BB in 23 1/3 IP. Also had 7 wild pitches. He is forgoing his senior season to sign.

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The three Missouri picks are likely attributable to Astros scout Jim Stevenson.

Yes - Stevenson is a stud scout.

One more UDFA signing:

  • Zack Matthews, RHP, Oklahoma. Pitching 39.2 innings of relief for the Sooners over the last three seasons, Matthews’ ERA won’t turn any heads (2018 - 5.79 ERA; 2019 - 5.18; 2020 - 4.50). His FB velocity, though–that’ll turn heads. I’ve seen multiple reports (A, B, C) of Matthews pumping out 97-98 mph fastballs in his four starts this spring. Also throws a SL. Had TJ surgery in May, so he was unlikely to improve his draft stock with another season of college ball.
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5’11", wow.

Callis reporting that Daniels signed for $400K which saved $30,800 of cap space.

Tags reporting that they have verbal agreements with the others.

Slot values for the rest:

Santos - $870,700
Brown - 577,000
Daniels - $430,800 - Signed for $400K
Whitcomb - $324,100

The Astros full cap was $2,202,600. If they exceed the they will have to pay a 75% penalty for up to 5%(110,130), More than 5% but less than 10, it is 100% + lose a 1st & 2nd round pick. Exceed more than 10 then it is 100% plus 2 1st round picks.

Oh, great, since it’s based on percentages, teams with higher caps get to exceed their cap by a larger absolute amount before they get dinged. I’d rather they just have an actual cap and be done with it. You enforce it by having the league refuse to approve contracts that put a team over the limit.

I most cases, the team with the larger bonus is the team who finished lower and/or lost free agents. The whole draft is structured to help those teams the most. I don’t see why this should be any different.

Astros have signed NDFA J. C. Correa (yep - Carlos’ younger brother who had finished his career at Lamar)

Astros have signed Whitcomb to $56,000 bonus. I have one irrefutable rule in life: never do math in public. That said, even my shit arithmetic tells me Houston just saved $268,100 with that signing.

Santos has signed. :pray:

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More signing info:
Santos 1.25 million ($379,300 over slot)
Brown $577,000 (Slot value)
Daniels $400,000 (30,800 under slot)
Whitcomb 56K (268,100 under slot) (corrected)

If these numbers are correct they exceeded their pool but by less than 5%. So they will pay 75% tax on $80,400 = $60,300 (corrected)

Duman, are you sure about the Whitcomb numbers? Don’t believe the Astros are $324,100 under slot. I believe that was the slot value itself.

Yes - you are correct. I have fixed the numbers in the post above.

Of the 14 players in 2020’s draft/NDFA class, 10 of them are either in hi-A or AA. Pretty aggressive and/or impressive considering none were able to get their feet wet in professional games last year and had truncated amateur seasons.

RHP Alex Santos II – 2nd rounder Fayetteville
RHP Ty Brown – 3rd rounder Corpus Christi
OF Zach Daniels – 4th rounder Asheville
SS Shay Whitcomb – 5th rounder Asheville
RHP Jimmy Endersby – NDFA Corpus Christi
RHP Jonathan Sprinkle – NDFA Asheville
RHP Zack Matthews – NDFA Injured
RHP Cesar Gomez – NDFA Fayetteville
RHP Kyle Gruller – NDFA Asheville
LHP Hunter Peck – NDFA Corpus Christi
OF Cody Orr – NDFA Asheville
OF Justin Dirden – NDFA Asheville
INF J.C. Correa – NDFA Asheville
1B Peter Zimmermann – NDFA Injured

Whitcomb and Endersby look like fast risers in the system. The latter is also looking like an absolute steal as a NDFA.