The Houston Astros announced Friday afternoon the signing of first-round pick Mike Foltynewicz, the hard-throwing right-hander out of Minooka (Ill.) Community High School near Chicago, who was selected 19th overall in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
He joins supplemental first-rounder (33rd overall) Mike Kvasnicka as the latest draftees to sign, with prep star Delino DeShields Jr., the Astros’ top pick (eighth overall), remaining unsigned.
Foltynewicz told cakechow.com last Saturday that he would arrive in Houston with his parents on Thursday with the intent of finalizing a deal.
Although it was reported nationwide last Friday that he and the Astros had agreed to a $1.3 million signing bonus, Foltynewicz contradicted the report, stating that a few things still needed to fall into place.
However, the Astros did confirm Friday that he’ll receive a $1.3 million signing bonus.
Foltynewicz was 9-1 with a 0.38 ERA and 128 strikeouts over 72 2/3 innings at Minooka this season, and was scouted by Troy Hoerner, who inked right-hander Tanner Bushue (second-round pick) last year.
“We really like the physical side of him,” Hoerner said in a press release. “He’s big, he’s strong, he’s a competitor, and he has an easy, solid delivery. As the spring went on, he developed more and more. He has great feel and he’s poised for someone so young. And, the more I got to know he and his family, the more I realized he has great character.”
Foltynewicz compares favorably to Astros’ top pitching prospect Jordan Lyles, with scouts pinpointing that he possesses more upside than Lyles did coming out of high school. Despite a commitment to the University of Texas, he continually stated his intent to sign and begin his professional career with the Astros upon being drafted.
“I really like the city of Houston,” Foltynewicz said via a phone interview. “My parents and I arrived on Thursday and we’ve had a great time touring around the city and stadium. I’m honored to get drafted by a great club like the Astros.
“Everyone has been really nice. I love it already. I can’t wait to get to the big leagues and show everyone what I got.”
With the Astros set to open the Lone Star Series against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park, Foltynewicz will officially be introduced to Houston fans in the three-game weekend series opener Friday night.
“I’m excited about the game,” he said. “I think I’m going to be introduced during the second inning. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of the Astros front-office guys. I’m going to have dinner tonight at the game with the general manager (Ed Wade), and I think the owner (Drayton McLane Jr.).”
Foltynewicz will report to Rookie-Advanced Greeneville on Saturday.
The Astros have now signed 26 out of its 52 Draft picks, including 15 players selected in the first 20 rounds.
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