Top pick Teel signing with Red Sox 'something I've dreamed about'

July 21st, 2023

BOSTON -- Hours after the ink dried on the $4 million signing bonus that made first-round draft pick Kyle Teel an official member of the Red Sox, the left-handed hitting catcher was belting baseballs over the bullpens in right-center, and even lofting fly balls off the Green Monster.

It was a good day to be Teel, who had a tremendous college career at Virginia and is now looking forward to carrying that over to professional baseball.

As Teel -- the No. 14 overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft -- held court with the media, he was joined by his agent, Scott Boras.

What was the feeling like for Teel as he signed the contract that officially made him a professional baseball player?

“It felt like a lot of hard work finally coming together, and that's always been my dream to be a professional baseball player,” said Teel. “And my dream is still to be a big leaguer, and signing that contract just ... it was a really great feeling to be able to do that. And it's something I've dreamed about since I've been 10 years old. So this is really, really amazing.”

Kyle Teel makes it official, signing his contract with the Boston Red Sox. (Photo courtesy of Red Sox)

It was a productive day on the Draft front for the Red Sox, who also agreed on a $3 million deal with their second-round selection, Nazzan Zanetello, a talented high school shortstop from Missouri. The Red Sox signed the No. 50 overall pick well over his slot value of $1,698,000. Zanetello is supposed to be at Fenway Park later this weekend.

Teel landing with the Red Sox puts him in the same organization as Boston’s last star two-way catcher -- a switch-hitter by the name of Jason Varitek.

Varitek has been a key member of Boston’s coaching staff for years and was also represented by Boras during his playing career.

“Time flies, right? The thing you know is that Jason's bat-to-ball skills is something that always kept him in the big leagues. Always allowed him to be a big asset, and then the learning aptitude,” said Boras. “Kyle has a teacher in his family, and those types of athletes for me have always been highly successful. One thing about ‘Tek, there was no stone unturned about how to prepare a team, how to prepare a pitching staff. And I think that Kyle has that same philosophy of waking up every day and it's all about baseball”

As part of Teel’s whirlwind Friday, he got to meet Varitek, who was a cornerstone on two World Series championship teams with the Red Sox.

“Yeah, I did,” said Teel. “Shook his hand and it was awesome to finally meet him. He's a guy I look up to, and I'm excited to get to work with him.”

Work is a key word for Teel, one you will hear him talk about often in the coming years.

“I'm so hungry to be out here one day. Just having this opportunity is really special, and it's all about just getting to work and putting your head down every day and doing the best you can,” said Teel.

Look for Teel to join one of Boston’s Minor League affiliates in the near future.