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Orioles Sign First-Round Pick Grayson Rodriguez

June 12, 2018
BALTIMORE -- When the Orioles made right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez their top selection in the First-Year Player Draft June 4, he was clear that he wanted to sign quickly and begin his professional career.

Rodriguez signed a contract with a $4.3 million bonus June 12, eight days after he was the 11th selection in the draft.

The 18-year-old will report to Sarasota, Fla., June 13 to begin his professional career, and he'll pitch for the Orioles rookie league Gulf Coast team.

Rodriguez prides himself on how much he's improved during the last year.

"I had a big jump this past offseason," Rodriguez said. "Hopefully, I'll do the same this fall to get up to the triple digits [in velocity] and hopefully stay there.

Rodriguez, who pitched for Central High School in Nacogdoches, Tex., made his his first trip to Baltimore and was impressed with Camden Yards.

"This ballpark is definitely one of my favorites now that I've seen it," Rodriguez said. "It's a beautiful, beautiful place. I walked in, and it kind of takes your breath away at how pretty it is. ... It's a pretty cool experience, and I can't wait to play here one day."

Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich likes Rodriguez's polish.

"He can pitch in the strike zone. He can pitch out of the strike zone," Rajsich said. "It's very impressive for his age. ... The intangibles are all there. I talked about checking off all the boxes. You can check those off, too. His mental toughness, his emotional maturity, his competitiveness, all those factors." 

Follow Rich on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB 

Photo Credit: Rich Dubroff/PressBox