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Braves come to terms with top pick Sims

ATLANTA -- One week after experiencing the thrill of being drafted by his hometown Braves, Lucas Sims will officially begin his professional career.

The Braves announced on Thursday they have signed Sims, who was their first-round selection in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. According to multiple sources, the right-handed pitcher received a $1.65 million signing bonus.

After being taken with the Draft's 21st overall selection, Sims said he did not believe it would be long before he signed. The suburban Atlanta resident, who recently graduated from Gwinnett County's Brookwood High School, has been a lifelong Braves fan.

"This is a dream come true," Sims said on Monday night. "I've been a Braves fan all of my life. To have an opportunity to play for the Atlanta Braves' organization ... there are an unbelievable amount of emotions running through me right now."

Sims is expected to be at Turner Field on Friday night to watch his childhood idol John Smoltz have his No. 29 jersey retired. The 18-year-old pitcher is scheduled to join the Gulf Coast League Braves at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Tuesday.

Under the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement, the Braves have $4,030,800 to dole out in bonuses for their first 10 selections. Because the suggested bonus for the 21st overall selection was $1.825 million, they can use the $175,000 saved on Sims to sign any of the other players they took in the first 10 rounds.

Sims was named the Georgia Region 8-AAAAA Pitcher of the Year after going 8-1 with a 1.19 ERA and leading Brookwood to the state championship game. His fastball has been clocked in the mid-90s and he has a hard curveball that has proven more consistent over the past year.

Atlanta Braves