Durant star Tyler Danish has confirmed that he signed with the Chicago White Sox after they made him the 55th overall pick in the MLB draft last week.
Danish will accept the White Sox’s deal, choosing – as expected – a professional career over a scholarship offer from Florida.
“It’s official,” he said on his Twitter account. “Feels good to sign my contract today to become officially apart of the @whitesox.”
He reportedly will receive a bonus of $1,001,800, which is the slot value for his selection in the draft. Now Danish will head to the club’s training facility in Phoenix and likely join their rookie-league team in Bristol, Va., on Monday.
Danish was one of three players from Hillsborough County taken on Day 1 of the draft, including Gaither shortstop Oscar Mercado (No. 57 to the St. Louis Cardinals) and Wharton shortstop Tucker Neuhaus (No. 72 to the Milwaukee Brewers).
He is coming off one of the most impressive prep seasons in recent memory, going 15-1 with a 0.00 ERA and 156 strikeouts over 94 innings – all numbers that ranked him among the nation’s top five high school pitchers.
Danish went on to lead the Cougars to their first district and regional championships and first appearance in the state tournament. Durant went on to lose in the Class 8A final.
But his stock remained in flux heading into the draft because of his throwing motion and his less-than-optimal size (6-foot, 185 pounds). He was ranked 96th on Baseball America’s list of Top 500 draft prospects.
None of that mattered to the White Sox when it came time to make their pick.
“He’s got kind of an unorthodox delivery and arm action, but I honestly can say that after, this is my 32nd year total, I don’t know that I’ve ever been as intrigued by a player since I’ve been scouting,” director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann told ESPN.com. “At some point and time, you say to yourself, this kid can flat out pitch. That’s how we felt about him. We had a lot of discussions about him. We looked at films. We did everything we could possibly do and finally just said we are going to go with it.”