The deadline for 2018 MLB draft picks to sign a professional contract passed today with three of the four Hawaii high school alums who were selected going pro.
UPDATE: Baldwin alum Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa had reportedly signed with the Twins but will instead head to Yavapai College in Arizona. Baldwin coach Shane Dudoit confirms Hoopii-Tuionetoa turned down a proposed $100,000 signing bonus at the last minute to go to college in hopes of getting picked higher.
MLB.com still lists Hoopii-Tuionetoa as having signed.
In addition to Hilo’s Micah Bello, who signed with the Brewers for a signing bonus of $550,000, Kamehameha’s Kekai Rios and Punahou’s Beau Branton have also begun their professional careers.
Rios, who played three years at the University of Hawaii, earned a signing bonus of $90,000 and is playing for the AZL Brewers in the Arizona League. He registered his first professional hit and drew three walks and scored a run in a game on June 24. Entering Friday, Rios has played in six games and is batting .222 (2-for-9) with a double, seven walks and two runs scored.
Branton, who earned $5,000 as a senior sign after playing four years at Stanford, is off to a hot start professionally. In 11 games with the AZL Mariners in the Arizona League, Branton is batting .368 (14-for-38) with two doubles, a triple, six runs scored and seven RBIs.
Bello, who is teammates with Rios, is hitting .326 (15-for-46) with a double, three triples, 10 runs scored and seven RBIs. He’s also stolen six bases.
All signing bonus numbers are from MLB.com.