LOS ANGELES -- When the Braves selected him with the seventh overall selection in this year's First-Year Player Draft, Mike Minor said that he wanted to sign as soon as possible. Well, the Braves can at least appreciate that he signed sooner than many of this year's other first-round selections. Minor and the Braves have agreed to terms of a $2.42 million bonus, and the 21-year-old left-handed pitcher officially signed his first professional contract Thursday evening.
Entering Thursday, just 12 of this year's 32 first-round selections had signed and Minor became just the fifth of the first 20 selections to sign. "This is a great day for the Braves," Braves director of scouting Roy Clark said. "He was a very polished college pitcher who experienced a lot of success, especially for Team USA, and we think he has a chance to be special. We're excited to get him started in our organization and to watch him develop." With their highest Draft selection since 1991, the Braves were forced to provide the highest signing bonus in the organization's history. The former record bonus of $2.2 million was provided to Jeff Francoeur in 2002. The $2.42 million signing bonus is also the highest ever given to a seventh overall selection. It also equals the slot recommendation that Major League Baseball provided for the seventh pick in the 2008 Draft. After taking first baseman Yonder Alonzo with the seventh pick in last year's Draft, the Reds gave him a $2 million signing bonus and a five-year, $4.55 million Major League contract. Minor, who grew up a Braves fan, went 6-6 with a 3.90 ERA during his junior season at Vanderbilt University this year. He gained national attention last summer, while going 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA in six appearances (five starts) with the United States national team. After beating the Cuban national team twice, he was named Baseball America's Summer Player of the Year.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.