MINNEAPOLIS -- The past month of Trevor Larnach's summer has unfolded in storybook fashion. On Thursday, the 21-year-old outfielder and College World Series hero closed the book on his collegiate career and signed a professional contract with the Twins.Minnesota announced Thursday afternoon that it had inked Larnach, whom the club
MINNEAPOLIS -- The past month of Trevor Larnach's summer has unfolded in storybook fashion. On Thursday, the 21-year-old outfielder and College World Series hero closed the book on his collegiate career and signed a professional contract with the Twins.
Minnesota announced Thursday afternoon that it had inked Larnach, whom the club selected with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 2018 Draft, for a $2.55 million signing bonus. The slot for the pick was valued at $3.12 million.
"It's special for my parents and [me]," Larnach said. "We have waited a long time for this and to be able to sign the contract. The stadium and Minnesota, I've heard nothing but good things about the state, the people and the organization, so I'm ready to go."
Larnach was an integral part of Oregon State's recent College World Series title run. The Pleasant Hill, Calif., native hit in the No. 3 spot in a loaded Beavers lineup and delivered a dramatic, go-ahead home run in the ninth inning of a June 29 win over Arkansas to keep his team's championship hopes alive.
Oregon State's late run through the postseason delayed the signing of the Beavers' draftees, and Minnesota scouting director Sean Johnson joked that Larnach's late-game homer in Omaha helped ease the rush to sign him.
"We were actually watching it -- I was with [Twins vice president of player personnel] Mike Radcliff -- we were in Cary, N.C., in a Cheesecake Factory," Johnson said. "Twenty seconds before he hit the home run, I'm like, 'If he hits a home run here to give them the lead, we can wait another day.' Right on cue, he hit it. That was the first time I celebrated in a Cheesecake Factory. That was pretty cool."
Due to the heavy workload that came with battling a gaggle of elimination games late in the season, the Twins organization is giving Larnach some time to recover before he begins his professional career. The club announced on Thursday that he will begin his career at Rookie-Level Elizabethton of the Appalachian League. They haven't decided on a timeline yet for when that will happen.
"(Larnach) has played in a lot of high-leverage situations in the last month and he's played a lot of games and had a lot of at-bats," Johnson said. "We want to get him through the summer in one piece and give him some time to get his life back together and go home and see his family. I think the plan is maybe to get him to Fort Myers and get him established with our player development and get him to meet some coaches and get him revving back up. I'm not sure where he's going after that, but get him back on the field."
Johnson said the club plans to keep the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Larnach in right field. During the 2018 season with the Beavers, he hit .327 (70-for-214) with 13 doubles, 17 home runs and 65 RBI in 58 games. In the College World Series, he batted .417 (15-for-36) with five doubles, one triple, one home run, nine RBI and 10 runs scored in eight games.
"I would say it's probably the closest thing you are going to get to playing here in the big leagues," Larnach said of his experience at Omaha. "There are a lot of people at every game. You start playing some SEC teams and you start hearing them pretty well. It's all part of it. It's a wonderful experience, and I wish I could relive some of it, but you know, there are better times ahead."
Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.