Reds give USF signee Waldrop $500k bonus
I tweeted this Monday but neglected to post it on the blog in the blur of football practice -- USF signee Kyle Waldrop, the Fort Myers outfielder who was drafted by the Reds in the 12th round, opted to sign with Cincinnati on Monday, getting a $500,000 signing bonus and four years of full college scholarship paid, his father Greg said.
Waldrop's stock rose considerably from when he first committed to USF. Despite the lucrative bonus, Waldrop's father said the decision wasn't easy, as Kyle's brother Cody is a student at USF and the family has been season-ticket holders in football for several years.
"We think the world of Coach Prado -- he really helped us through this process, and you can tell he definitely cares about his players," his father said.
Waldrop flew to Arizona on Tuesday and hopes to join the Reds' rookie league team in Arizona, where he'll get his first look as a centerfielder.
USF still has three unsigned draft picks in rising senior ace Randy Fontanez and signees Nick Gonzalez and James Ramsay, but Prado said Monday he is optimistic all three will be part of his program this fall. Fontanez is pitching well in the Cape Cod League, but his workload between USF and the Cape would make it unlikely he would pitch professionally this fall, so unless the Reds make an unexpectedly large offer, he wouldn't lose much time from his professional career by returning to the Bulls for his senior year. Prado said Fontanez knows he would have the chance to pitch in the opening ballgame in USF's new baseball stadium against Elon in February.