A's announce agreement with Choice

A's announce agreement with Choice

CHICAGO -- The A's on Friday officially announced they have reached a Minor League contract agreement with first-round Draft pick Michael Choice.

Choice's agent, Jeff Frye, initially confirmed the deal -- which includes a $2 million signing bonus -- on Wednesday. And on Friday, via a conference call, the 20-year-old outfielder was able to speak with reporters about the agreement.

"It's a great feeling," Choice said from Arizona, where he recently reported to the A's training facility.

Choice, taken out of the University of Texas at Arlington as the 10th-overall selection, represents just the second player out of this year's top 10 picks to reach a deal -- the other being Christian Colon, drafted fourth overall by the Royals. The new A's player is expected to soon join the club's short-season Class A affiliate in Vancouver.

"I think it's huge to get out there and get firsthand experience and get exposed for the first time," Choice said. "It's one of hardest parts, and then you kind of go from there."

Choice currently has no timetable on when he'd like to make his big league debut, only saying that his "main focus is to get acclimated to the organization and let the organization judge when that will be."

The A's expect Choice's bat power to nicely complement his impressive abilities in center field, where he hopes to remain as his professional career begins. The 6-foot, 215-pound right-handed hitter owns the all-time home run record at Arlington, where he averaged a long ball every 17.8 at-bats and was subsequently named a junior All-American.

In 60 games for the Mavericks this year, he hit .383 to go along with a .568 on-base percentage and .704 slugging mark. He struck out just 54 times while managing 76 walks.

The A's have now signed or agreed to terms with 28 of their Draft picks. The organization's second, third and fourth selections remain unsigned, and the organization has until Aug. 16 to complete all deals.