First-round pick Petty, Twins ink deal

July 27th, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chase Petty didn't get too good of a look at the tarp-covered Target Field mound as he walked around his future home field, but that's quite all right. If all goes well, he'll have plenty of time to get familiar with that bump in due time -- and he might be able to deliver some of the most electric raw stuff ever seen in a Twins uniform from there.

The young right-hander from New Jersey took his first concrete step towards making that dream a reality on Monday, when the Twins' first-round selection from the 2021 MLB Draft officially signed his first professional contract to join the Twins' organization before a planned flight down to Florida on Tuesday, where he'll report to the club's Minor League complex.

"It’s been crazy," Petty said. "It’s been surreal. Kind of still hasn’t even hit me yet. But I think signing that contract definitely helped a lot. I’m definitely starting to feel it a lot more. It’s surreal, honestly. It really is."

The 18-year-old Petty, who was selected with the No. 26 pick in the Draft, signed for a bonus of $2.5 million to forgo his commitment to the University of Florida, according to Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline. That's slightly under the slot value for the pick of $2,653,400.

That'll do just fine to lock in the kind of raw velocity this organization has rarely -- if ever -- seen over the years. Petty's big fastball from a three-quarters arm slot routinely sits in the high 90s and was known to top out at 102 mph on occasion as he pitched out of Mainland Regional High School in New Jersey.

He pairs that with a slider and changeup that the Twins have seen him consistently command and throw for strikes. Though the Twins haven't yet given him any guidance on what they hope to see from him in the remainder of this season, Petty is just eager to get to work in Florida in the coming days.

"Kind of looking to develop myself even more, and kind of just do whatever the team needs me to do," Petty said.

With Petty's signing, the Twins have officially inked nine of their 11 selections from the first 10 rounds of the 2021 MLB Draft, with fifth-rounder Christian MacLeod and eighth-rounder Noah Cardenas -- both college juniors -- the lone holdouts among that group.

The first-rounder won't lack confidence as he heads that group, that's for sure.

"I’m definitely a very headstrong, very competitive pitcher," Petty said. "I don’t know anybody who has more of a dog mentality than I do that I’ve ever met. So when I’m on that mound, it’s kind of just, attack, attack, attack. I don’t really see a guy truly beating me in this game."

Petty, a lifelong Yankees fan, hadn't been to Minneapolis before he traveled to the Twin Cities to sign his contract and conduct his physical. He'll hope to be back in this ballpark within a few years.

"It’s unbelievable," Petty said. "It’s a dream come true. It’s a beautiful city, a beautiful organization. Great fans. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else."