By GateHouse Media Services
Brady Singer is officially a professional baseball player.
The former Eustis High and University of Florida standout pitcher agreed to terms with the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday after being the team’s first-round selection (18th pick overall) in this year’s Major League Baseball draft.
According to Jonathan Mayo with MLB.com, Singer was given a $4.25 million signing bonus, which is nearly $1 million above his slotted value as the No. 18 pick.
“When I put on this jersey, I feel pride,” said Singer, who was introduced to the Kansas City media at a press conference Tuesday. “It’s something really cool to wear Royals across the chest.”
Singer, 21, was named the 2018 Dick Howser Trophy recipient (top player in college baseball) as well as Baseball America College Player of the Year this season, going 12-3 with a 2.55 ERA with 114 strikeouts in 113 innings during his junior season at the University of Florida.
The righty was also one of four finalists for the Golden Spikes Award and was named Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year. He recorded 7.0 innings or more in 11 of his 17 starts, including his first career shutout on May 4 at Texas A&M.
Singer completed his college career with a 23-10 record, a 3.22 ERA and 281 strikeouts. He was also named All-SEC Second Team, College World Series All-Tournament Team and SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2017, helping the Gators win their first national championship in baseball.
He was originally selected by Toronto in the second round (56th overall) of the 2015 draft out of Eustis High School, but chose to go to Florida instead.
While with the Gators he was known for his competitive spirit and he was asked Tuesday where that spirit came from.
“The woman in the front row,” Singer said, pointing to his mother, Jacquelyn, who was seated in the first row along with Singer’s father, Brett, at the press conference inside Kauffman Stadium. “She’s extremely competitive and it comes right to me.”
Jacquelyn immediately blushed, but later told MLB.com, “I guess I just don’t like to quit, so he gets that from me.”
Royals General Manager Dayton Moore said the team will decide what the next move is for Singer, especially given his long college season.
“We’re going to sit down and talk about that together,” Moore said. “We certainly want to get Brady’s input on that as well. The most important thing is we transition in the right manner, to give him the best chance to get going in his professional career.”
First reported for Leesburg Daily-Commercial