Rich Aude of Chatsworth High, a second-round pick in the June 5 amateur baseball draft, came to terms with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, signing for a bonus package reportedly worth $80,000.
Aude, 17, will report to the Pirates' minor-league complex in Bradenton, Fla., on Monday. From there, he will be assigned to Pittsburgh's Rookie League affiliates in Bradenton of the Gulf Coast League or Princeton (W. Va.) of the Appalachian League, or to the Pirates' Class-A team in Ontario, Canada.
"It seemed like a pretty fair deal to me," said Aude, who had signed a letter of intent to play for UC Santa Barbara. "The money moved up a lot (recently). It seemed like they were more and more interested."
Pirate scout Bob Zuk met with the player at the Aude family home Wednesday and closed the deal. Aude, who is projected as an outfielder although he played third base this season, believes he has a chance to move up quickly through the Pirate chain.
"I think I have a good chance to move up because they don't have a whole lot of talent," Aude said.
Aude batted .455 this spring for Chatsworth, slugging six home runs and driving in 39 runs.