SEATTLE -- Logan Gilbert took the first step in his professional career on Saturday, and it was a lucrative one, as the right-hander out of Stetson University finalized a contract with the Mariners. He will head soon to Class A Everett, though his innings will be limited this season after
SEATTLE -- Logan Gilbert took the first step in his professional career on Saturday, and it was a lucrative one, as the right-hander out of Stetson University finalized a contract with the Mariners. He will head soon to Class A Everett, though his innings will be limited this season after a heavy workload in college.
The 21-year-old agreed to a $3,883,800 signing bonus, according to MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis, which is the slot value money assigned to the No. 14 overall position where he was selected last week by Seattle.
"He's been pretty much a workhorse at Stetson," Mariners amateur scouting director Scott Hunter said. "He started his first live game, an intersquad game, in January, so he's pretty much at his innings limit. We'll ease him in. If he throws a few innings this summer, it'll be icing on the cake. But it's not going to be a heavy workload whatsoever. We're about getting him ready for our [high-performance] camp in the fall."
Gilbert was at Safeco Field on Friday to watch the Mariners' 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Red Sox in front of more than 44,000 fans, and that definitely gave him a taste of what he'll be working toward in the upcoming seasons.
"It was crazy," Gilbert said. "It was a good game to be at, with the comeback and how they played. It was an awesome atmosphere and all that stuff. Just imagining being out there in a couple years, it was pretty cool. I'm ready to get to work. I'm excited to get to Everett and hopefully get to throw a little bit. And hopefully work my way up over the next few years."
The Mariners also announced the signings of Georgia outfielder Keegan McGovern (their ninth-round pick) and Benjamin Onyshko (24th round), a left-handed pitcher also out of Stetson.
The Mariners have now signed 32 of their 40 Draft selections, including 28 of the top 30. The only top-10 pick who hasn't signed is third-rounder Cal Raleigh, a catcher from Florida State.
Gilbert went 11-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 16 starts this year as a junior, with 163 strikeouts and 25 walks in 107 innings, and he was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year. His 163 strikeouts were the most by any NCAA Division I pitcher. Over three seasons, Gilbert posted a 23-3 record with a 2.48 ERA in 52 games, including 33 starts.
The 6-foot-6 right-hander is less than two semesters shy of graduating with a degree in business systems and analytics from the private school of about 3,000 students in DeLand, Fla.
That education clearly could come into use in a Mariners organization that leans heavily on analytics.
"I think it's going to be big," Gilbert said. "I didn't use it a ton in college. There wasn't a ton of data really that we had to use. But that's who I am and how my mind works. I'm an analytical type of person. So I look forward in the future to being able to utilize that in different ways. I think it'll help my game to have extra information and data to use."
Gilbert wasn't highly recruited out of high school, where he was a 4.0 student at Wekiva High in Apopka, Fla., so he jumped at the chance to go to Stetson, which has a tradition of producing top pitchers. Indians standout Corey Kluber was a fourth-round pick by the Padres in 2007 out of Stetson and Jacob deGrom was a ninth-round selection by the Mets in '10.
Gilbert is something of a late bloomer, not fully committing to pitching until his final years of high school. But once that decision came, his dad built a mound in the family's backyard in Florida and the work hasn't stopped since.
"Most of the time, kids have their own batting cages," Hunter said, "but that might have been my first with their own mound. I know one thing we're definitely getting is the work ethic and upside and passion for the game. It's amazing what he's done on his own over the course of his career. And where he wants to get to, it's refreshing as an organization that we're getting that kind of human, too."
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.