Joey Wentz’s baseball dream is about to officially come true.
Wentz confirmed to the Shawnee Mission Post Tuesday afternoon that he will hop on a plane to Georgia today to sign with the Atlanta Braves. The Braves selected Wentz as the 40th overall pick in this year’s Major League Baseball draft last week, part of a pitching-heavy class in a rebuilding initiative for a club that’s seen uncharacteristic struggles over the past two years.
Jim Callis of MLB.com reported Tuesday that Wentz is expected to sign for a bonus of $3.05 million. That’s substantially higher than the $1.6 million bonus slotted in for the 40th overall pick in the draft, and more in line with the 15th to 25th pick range that many expected him to be taken in. Wentz had until July 15 to decide whether to agree to terms with the Braves or head off to the University of Virginia, which offered him an athletic scholarship back when he was a junior at SM East.
“Wentz will be making more money than some of his higher-drafted peers, so the threat of becoming a Cavalier was obviously quite real,” writes Sam Robinson of Today’s Knuckleball.
Wentz and his family will have plenty to celebrate today (he was also named to USA Today’s ALL-USA Baseball First Team this morning) but it won’t be long before he reports to the club’s Gulf Coast League affiliate for a 60-game rookie league season.