OAKLAND -- A's first-round draft pick Billy McKinney, a high school outfielder who was taken No. 24 overall on Thursday, has reportedly agreed to terms with the club.
And while he will visit the A's on Friday and take batting practice, the club was not willing to announce such a signing. It is, though, thought that the team is close to signing him and all that remains is a physical.
According to MLB.com, McKinney has agreed to a $1.8-million signing bonus, just under the "assigned" value of $1,893,500 for the No. 24 pick.
A's director of scouting Eric Kubota said on a conference call last week that the A's expected to sign the TCU commit in short order.
"We feel like he'll be out playing relatively shortly," said Kubota, who added that McKinney reminded the A's of former center fielder Mark Kotsay.
"He'll have to probably rely somewhat on instinct (since) he's not the pure, athletic center fielder," Kubota said of McKinney. "But he's very instinctive.
"He's a kid that we've liked the whole spring. We've liked (him) from years past. It's certainly more difficult picking from where we picked this year, kind of prognosticating what's going to get to you. Especially with this year, it was hard to know what the teams at the very top were doing. But our sense was that somewhere in our range, maybe a little bit before, or around where we picked, we thought there was a good chance he would get to us."
Kubota also said McKinney was a "solid average, to a click-above-average runner" as a prospect.
"You can say his tools are more average than plus, but he makes up for that in the outfield with instincts and jumps and range," Kubota said. "He's a very instinctual player. That's why we think he has a chance to play center field."