Bellevue's Ryne Reynoso, 21, who grew up playing sandlot baseball at Nelson Field in Hailey, officially signed a professional contract Wednesday to play for the Atlanta Braves baseball organization.
Reynoso accepted a $100,000 signing bonus and a promise from the Braves that they would pay for the final year of Reynoso's undergraduate education at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Reynoso said the college bonus could amount to $42,000 to $44,000.
The Braves, looking at Reynoso as a pitching prospect, will pay him the minimum of $1,100 a month. That amount would rise incrementally if Reynoso climbs through the team's minor league system. The salary really steps up to impressive levels when and if he signs a major league contract, Reynoso said.
"It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make," said Reynoso about turning pro instead of finishing his senior year at Boston College, where he has played on scholarship for the Eagles baseball team for the last three years.
Reynoso added, "I really didn't want to miss my senior year. But my goal since Day One has been to make it to The Show, and this is my chance. I figured the Braves were making a commitment to me and offering more and more—so why not take it? I told them that I needed to finish school and they made it happen."
Wednesday was the official signing day because, on Tuesday, Reynoso ended his New England Collegiate Baseball League campaign with the Sanford (Me.) Mainers (29-18) in the divisional championship series played at Montpelier, Vt.
The 6-2, 215-pound righthander was the Mainers' closer and he set a team record for saves (8 in 12 appearances) despite missing three weeks due to a torn oblique muscle. Reynoso didn't pitch many innings for the Mainers all summer so he should be fresh for what promises to be an interesting next six weeks.
Reynoso leaves Saturday for Danville, Va. where the Braves have a Rookie League affiliate in the Appalachian League. He'll work out for a week there, and then continue his exposure to pro ball at the Class A Rome (Ga.) Braves starting Aug. 19.
He will return to Boston for a week at Labor Day and head to Orlando, Fla. where the Braves conduct a six-week instructional league for their top 50 prospects starting in mid-September. Reynoso will be back in Idaho for Christmas before traveling to Florida for spring training.
Agent Oscar Suarez represents Reynoso. Braves Northeast representative Lonnie Goldberg of Ontario, Canada, was the scout who noticed 2003 Wood River High School graduate Reynoso playing for Boston College last spring.
On June 7, Reynoso was chosen by the Braves in the 26th round (790th pick) of the Major League Baseball Draft. He was a "draft and follow" selection, meaning the Braves wanted to chart his progress before signing him to a contract.