Rohrbough signs for $728,000
June 1, 2007
Cole Rohrbough is determined to make sure the large investment the Atlanta Braves have made in him will be well worth it.
Rohrbough, who just finished a stellar career with the Western Nevada Community College baseball team, made it official when he signed with the Braves on Friday. Rohrbough and the Braves had agreed to terms this week and all that was left was the formality of Rohrbough signing with the Major League team as soon as the JUCO World Series was over.
The Braves had the rights to Rohrbough after taking him in the 2006 draft as a draft and follow and it became clear they were intent on signing him with three scouts following Rohrbough throughout this season. The Braves essentially gave Rorhbough a signing bonus the equivalent of what a second round draft choice would receive as the total package is worth $728,000.
Rohrbough will receive a $675,000 signing bonus and an additional $53,000 to continue his education once his baseball career is over.
The left-handed pitcher will report to the Braves advanced rookie team in Danville, Va., in the Appalachian League on June 10. The Appalachian League is one step above the Gulf Coast Rookie League.
“It felt really good,” said Rohrbough about signing. “I’ve been wanting to be a Brave for a while. I’m glad to get on to the next stage.”
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Rohrbough didn’t hurt his stock any in his last collegiate start when he struck out 12 over 7.1 innings in a 2-0 win over Delgado Community College of New Orleans on Saturday at the World Series. Rohrbough finished this season with a 10-3 record, a 1.34 earned run average and 132 strikeouts in 99 innings.
As soon as WNCC was eliminated from the World Series on Wednesday, Rohrbough flew to Atlanta to complete the deal. He met with the three scouts who followed him along with many of the Braves front office executives.
He also got to step on Turner Field. “It felt good,” Rorhbough said. “It gave me goose bumps. That’s what I’m working for.”
Rohrbough didn’t have a chance to meet with Braves general manager John Shurholz, but said Shurholz was supposed to call him in the next day or so.
While there’s no timetable, Rohrbough said he’s determined to make to the Braves as soon as possible. “I’m going to do every single thing I can to move up as quickly as I can,” he said.
Rohrbough also said he’s determined to earn the deal the Braves gave him. “They’re not going to regret giving me every cent they gave me,” he said. “I definitely feel llike I’m worth what they’re giving me.”
Last fall, Rohrbough signed with Arizona State. He said since he was passing up a scholarship to Arizona State, he was thankful the Braves also gave him as much as they did for his education. “Schools definitely really important to me,” he said.
He also credited WNCC coach D.J. Whittemore for recruiting him to the school, assistant coaches Kevin Edwards and Dennis Banks for his development as a pitcher and his teammates for “being my brothers for the past two years.”
As far as WNCC’s other pitchers who could be taken in this year’s Major League draft, which will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Whittemore said the two most likely to sign are Justin Garcia and T.J. Wohlever.
He said it’s not likely that Major League teams will be willing to offer Stephen Sauer enough for him to pass up his scholarship to Arizona State. But he said Garcia, who has signed with UNLV, could be willing to sign if he’s drafted high enough. Even if Wohlever isn’t drafted, Whittemore said he could still sign as a free agent.
WNCC will host a tryout for any prospective players at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 10 at John L. Harvey Field.