Arkansas unexpectedly lost a player from its 2019 signing class just ahead of the MLB Draft signing deadline Friday afternoon.
Chet Allison, a talented outfielder from Fresno City C.C. in California, has signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, HawgBeat has confirmed.
Nick Papagni – a local radio show host in central California – first reported Thursday via Twitter that Allison had agreed to “an offer he couldn’t refuse.” MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo shared Friday afternoon, less than an hour after the 4 p.m. CT deadline, he would receive a $222,500 signing bonus.
That is well above what is normal for a 24th-round pick. In fact, $97,500 will count against Los Angeles’ bonus pool for the first 10 rounds. It is closer to an early seventh-round pick slot value.
This was an unexpected development, as head coach Dave Van Horn said during his end-of-season press conference that he expected the entire class to make it to campus.
The thought was that Allison, who hit .446 with 11 home runs and 50 RBIs in 40 games this season, could double his money by playing one year with the Razorbacks.
“He went to a Dodgers workout and they offered him pretty good, plus school,” Van Horn said last month. “He wants to play in our league. He thinks he can double his money and I think he can, too – maybe more than that.”
Allison’s junior college coach, Ron Scott, is the father of Arkansas softball coach Courtney Deifel, sparking his connection with Arkansas.
With Dominic Fletcher beginning his professional career, the Razorbacks knew they needed to fill an opening in the outfield. Rising sophomore Christian Franklin is expected to shift over to center field and Allison figured to take one of the corner outfield spots along with Heston Kjerstad.
That spot will instead be filled by a returning player, such as Curtis Washington Jr., Trey Harris or Matt Goodheart, or another member of Arkansas’ 2019 class.
It appears as though neither of the Razorbacks’ high school draftees – Jason Hodges (34th round, Reds) and Dominic Tamez (35th round, Mariners) – signed professional contracts.
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