Monday, June 20, 2011
Two ex-Trojans sign with MLB teams
By Pedro Moura
Two USC baseball products selected by major-league organizations earlier this month in the 2011 MLB draft have signed contracts to begin their pro careers.
Right-hander Logan Odom, a 6-6 late bloomer who only started pitching in junior college, signed with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday after being selected in the eighth round. Second baseman Joe De Pinto, taken in the 21st round by the Chicago White Sox, signed Thursday.
Signing bonuses were not released for either player, but draftees selected after the fifth round are typically not given more than a maximum of $150,000 to sign.
The two were both seniors and were USC's only two seniors selected. Players with no college eligibility remaining typically sign quickly after the draft because of a lack of leverage, whereas juniors and high school players tend to wait it out some more.
12 other players with ties to USC were selected in the draft, five current Trojans and seven players who signed letters of intent to enroll at USC in the fall. All of those remain unsigned, but most, if not all, of USC's juniors are expected to sign with the major-league organizations that selected them. The most important decision in the coming months for the Trojans' long-term hopes will be that of Travis Harrison -- the Tustin High third baseman was selected in the supplemental first round, 50th overall, by the Minnesota Twins and will have to pass up a lot of money to attend school in the fall. The 50th pick in 2010 signed for $1.3 million.
USC's top pick, first baseman Ricky Oropesa, stands to net somewhere in the range of a $250,000 bonus as a supplemental third round selection of the San Francisco Giants.
The deadline for players to sign is Aug. 15.