Braves sign first-round Draft pick

Braves sign first-round Draft pick

PHOENIX -- When the Braves took Matt Lipka with their first selection in this year's First-Year Player Draft, the excited athletic high school shortstop labeled the situation as "perfect" and indicated it wouldn't be long before he signed and started his professional career.

Just three days after being selected with this year's 35th overall selection, Lipka held true to his word.

The Braves announced Thursday that they have signed Lipka and their seventh-round selection, Matt Suschak, a right-handed pitcher out of the University of Toledo.

Lipka, who agreed to an $800,000 signing bonus, will report to the Braves' Spring Training complex on Monday to prepare to spend this summer competing in the Gulf Coast League. The 18-year-old shortstop was a two-time All-State wide receiver at suburban Dallas' McKinney High School.

With his speed and athleticism, the Braves believe he could develop into a leadoff hitter and potentially end up playing center field.

"We needed some speed in the organization, plus he plays in the middle of the diamond," Braves director of scouting Tony DeMacio said on Monday. "He's got a plus arm. He's a plus fielder. He's got makeup off the chart. He's just a winning type of player."

Suschak will report to the club's Rookie Level club in Danville, Va., on Monday.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.