Carlos Cortes is ready to begin his professional baseball career, and he got a big bonus to do it.
Cortes has agreed to terms with the New York Mets, who selected him in the third round of the Major League Baseball draft. According to Baseball America’s Jim Callis, Cortes’ signing bonus is $1,038,000, more than $300,000 over the slot value.
Cortes is just a sophomore, but was draft-eligible because of his age. He joins teammate Adam Hill, who signed with the Mets last week.
Cortes will begin with either the Brooklyn Cyclones or Kingsport Mets, but could land back in Columbia with the Single-A Fireflies next year if things go well.
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This is the second time Cortes has been picked by the Mets. He was taken in the 20th round of the 2016 MLB draft. Cortes is hitting .265 with 15 homers and 44 RBIs this season for the Gamecocks. He was ranked the 177th best prospect by Baseball America.
Cortes has played both infield and outfield for the Gamecocks. The Mets drafted him as a second baseman.
A record 10 South Carolina players were drafted this year. LT Tolbert is the only underclassman drafted who has yet to sign a professional contract. The deadline to sign is July 6.
List of South Carolina's MLB draftees
55. Texas Rangers, Owen White, P, (USC Signee) – Signed for $1.5 million
83. New York Mets, Carlos Cortes, INF - Signed for $1,038,000
110. New York Mets, Adam Hill, P – Signed for $507,800
150. Tampa Bay Rays, Taj Bradley, P, (USC Signee) – Signed $747,500
223. Cleveland Indians, Cody Morris, P – Signed $185,600
287. Philadelphia Phillies, Madison Stokes, SS - Signed for $10,000
339. Arizona Diamondbacks, Blaze Alexander, SS (USC Signee) – Signed $500,000
349. Cincinnati Reds, Josiah Sightler, LHP (USC Signee)
371. Washington Nationals, Graham Lawson, RHP – Returning to school
399. Arizona Diamondbacks, LT Tolbert, SS
521. Washington Nationals, Ridge Chapman, P – Returning to school
683. Oakland A's, Jonah Bride, 3B – Signed
698. Chicago Cubs, Hunter Taylor, C
799. Cincinnati Reds, Eddy Demurias, P - Signed
1177. New York Yankees, Brady Allen, P, (USC Signee)
1205. Milwaukee Brewers, Wes Clarke, C (USC Signee)