While three first-round picks are sweating out signings right down to today’s deadline, Carlos Rodon is flying to Arizona, where the White Sox’s first-rounder will start his pro career.
Rodon said Friday he will fly to Arizona to continue stretching out and likely will pitch in the Rookie-level Arizona League before reporting to high Class A Winston-Salem on July 28.
“Then it depends on me,” he said of the rest of his pro debut. “I’m not trying to set any expectations.
“If I pitch as well as I can and get promoted, that would be a blessing. But I’m just focused on pitching as well as I can.”
The No. 3 overall selection, Rodon signed July 10 for the largest bonus of the 2014 draft class, $6.582 million. The North Carolina State lefthander was drafted out of high school in the 16th round by the Brewers and turned down more than $500,000 to go to school. He wound up being the 2012 Freshman of the Year, led the country in strikeouts in 2013 and led N.C. State to its first College World Series trip in more than 40 years.
Oh, and he received a bonus more than 13 times what he turned down out of high school.
“It worked out,” Rodon said. “Three years of college helped a lot. Out of high school, dealing with this kind of pressure and money, it can be overwhelming. When you’re older, you can understand how much you’re really worth, and you can see the business side of it more.
“I’m really happy with how it worked out. I’m in a good place.”
Rodon has been to Chicago to sign—“It’s a beautiful city in the summer”—and meet White Sox personnel. “It’s a good feeling to be on this side of pro ball,” he said.