We kick off the weekend with big news as Alex Wimmers has signed a contract with the Minnesota Twins, officially starting his professional journey while ending his Buckeye days. Speaking of professional beginnings, Michael Stephens makes his pro debut last night for River City in the Frontier League.
While Coach Greg Beals will not have the services of Wimmers or Stephens, he will have Jared Strayer and Brad Hallberg who were on display last night in their respect Coastal Plain and Northwoods League action.
Wimmers Nets $1.332 Million in Signing Bonus
It wasn't a matter of if, more when, and for how much as to Alex Wimmers becoming a Minnesota Twin. Yesterday news broke that Wimmers had agreed and signed his contract making the first round draft pick officially a professional baseball player.
As Baseball America's Jim Callis reports Wimmers signed for a bonus of $1.332 million which is the suggested slot for the 21st overall pick. In emailing back and forth with Callis in alerting him about the Wimmers signing, we both agreed it was rather odd for a player to sign this late in the summer for the suggested slot. There were earlier reports that Wimmers' representation was seeking a bonus well above slot. However if the Minneapolis Star Tribune headline suggests anything maybe Wimmers was tired of waiting as he says "I miss pitching too much."
Stephens Begins Professional Career
After participating in the California Summer Collegiate League, Michael Stephens made a strong enough impression to land on a pro team. At the encouragement of the Atlanta Braves, yesterday the Victorville, California native signed and suited up with River City in the Frontier League.
In the Rascals' 6-5 win over the Florence Freedom Stephens went 1-for-3 in his professional debut.
Hallberg Halts Slump
Though his Wisconsin Rapids Rafter fell to the Wisconsin Woodchucks 7-6 Brad Hallberg had the game many hoped would be regular for the third baseman, a game that hopefully leads to Hallberg finishing the summer on a strong note that carries over into Autumn practice.
In a 2-for-3 effort, Hallberg collected his first extra-base hit of the summer, a second-inning double, as well as picking up two RBI while drawing a walk. With Friday's game Hallberg is now batting .213 for the Northwoods League season.
Strayer Struggles in Summer Finale
After delivering all summer for the Asheboro Cooperheads, Buckeye righty Jared Strayer was unable to perform to the high level of play he displayed throughout the summer in the Coastal Plain League. As his Cooperheads were down 0-1 in the best-of-three opening round playoffs to Forest City, the proudct of Worthington Kilbourne came up a bit short in extending his team's season.
In the 7-2 loss to Forest City Strayer was roughed up for six runs off seven hits and two walks in 4.2 innings while striking out two. With the loss the summer ends for Strayer and Buckeye teammate Brett McKinney, leaving pitchers Dean Wolosiansky, Drew Rucinski, and Andrew Armstrong, as well as Brian DeLucia and Hallberg as Buckeyes still playing this summer.