The WSU baseball team suffered another blow to its roster on Tuesday when pitcher Ian Hamilton agreed to terms with the Chicago White Sox, which had selected the Cougar right hander in the 11th round of the MLB Draft on Saturday.
According to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, Hamilton received a bonus just north of $100,000 to sign, which means the club had to dip a bit into its signing bonus pool allotted for the first 10 rounds. That’s not wholly unusual, but it does show that the White Sox made signing Hamilton a priority.
"There's a lot of guys we took (Saturday) that have that one dynamic impact talent tool," White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler said, speaking about Hamilton and others. "If we can, our guys make it a little bit more consistent for them, I think they have a chance."
Hamilton could have returned to school for his senior season, but even with a strong senior season, the loss of leverage means he could have been looking at a signing bonus less than this one.
Hamilton is likely headed back to the bullpen where he starred for WSU in his first two seasons, saving 28 games while allowing just 17 earned runs with 61 strikeouts across 73 innings while throwing in the mid-90s. As a starter this past season, he was just 2-10 with a 4.86 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 87 innings.
Hamilton is the third player from WSU’s 2017 roster to elect to start his professional career; leading hitter Trek Stemp signed with Tampa Bay yesterday, and signee Jake Polancic tweeted shortly after being selected in the 11th round that he was ready to start his pro career.
Congratulations to Ian! Go Cougs!