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Mitch Brown signs for $800,000

By Jason Gonzalez, Star Tribune, 06/15/12, 6:53PM CDT


Mitch Brown got his "something special."

The Rochester Century High School pitcher accepted an $800,000 bonus and signed with the Cleveland Indians on Friday.

The second-round, 79th overall draft pick was clear that it would require something substantial to keep him from a University of San Diego scholarship, and the Indians got the message.

"It worked out the way I wanted it to," Brown said. "[The negotiations] went the right direction the whole time. Now I can finally get back to playing baseball."

The American League Central club gave Brown $140,300 over his assigned worth determined by where he was drafted. The bonus more reflects the righthanded pitcher's projected value after Baseball America rated him the 44th-best prospect in the draft.

Though Brown was not selected during the first day of the draft, he was Indians' second overall pick and the club's first pitcher selected.

The terms of the contract also include the value of a four-year scholarship at USD, which is worth about $196,000, bringing the total value of the offer to nearly $1 million.

"It's just a number and does not define who you are and what kind of ballplayer you are," Brown said. "I've got to keep working hard."

A week before the draft, Brown appeared anxious to begin his journey toward his goal of the major leagues. He said the kid in him wanted to play professional baseball, but the benefits of college needed to be met in his contract.

The Indians also announced the signing of their No. 1 pick Tyler Naquin. The outfielder received a $1.75 million bonus, $500,000 under his assigned value.

Brown was the Minnesota Baseball Gatorade Player of the Year after finishing the regular season with a 7-1 record, 0.91 ERA and 108 strikeouts.

His baseball career will continue at the Indians Rookie League in Goodyear, Ariz. He won't be alone in the summer heat. His older sister lives about 30 minutes away from the spring training facilities.

"I definitely feel relieved to have the process over," Brown said. "It was very rewarding. Now I can focus on baseball and get on track to major league baseball as fast as possible."


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