The Twins have reached an agreement with outfielder Alex Kirilloff, their first-round pick from the June 9 draft, according to a source with knowledge of the talks.
Kirilloff, who was selected with the 15th overall pick out of Plum (Pa.) High School, is expected to receive a signing bonus of $2,817,100, which is the amount recommended by the league for a player at that slot in the draft. Kirilloff will be in the Twin Cities on Wednesday to take his physical before officially signing the deal.
Kirilloff, whose father operates a year-round baseball and softball facility, was considered one of the top hitting prospects in the draft with the potential to hit for power. He can play all three outfield positions and is smooth at first base, but likely will settle in at one of the corner spots.
The Twins could not sign Kirilloff until his high school season was over. Plum on Thursday lost in the Pennsylvania state championship game, a game in which Kirilloff played first base when he could have pitched in the game. But his coach, Carl Vollmer, did not want to risk his arm with a big signing bonus on the line.
By the end of this week, Kirilloff will begin his professional career at Elizabethton, Tenn., of the Appalachian League.
The Twins have signed 25 of their 42 picks, including nine of the 12 picks they had among the first 10 rounds. They expect to sign their 10th-round pick, shortstop Brandon Lopez from the University of Miami, as soon as the Hurricanes are finished in the College World Series.
Max Kepler flied out in his first at-bat Sunday, but it took eight pitches to get him out. And he became more comfortable against Yankees righthander Nathan Eovaldi, whose fastball was averaging 96.9 miles per hour entering the game.
“Every time I have one of those at-bats, the ball gets bigger, each pitch,” Kepler said.
He homered off Eovaldi when he faced him in the fifth, and kept going. He got a bloop RBI single off reliever Dellin Betances in the sixth then doubled off Nick Goody in the eighth and scored.
Kepler finished 3-for-4 with a home run, three runs scored and two RBI. He’s had a hit in six consecutive games, and he scored five runs and had four extra-base hits in the series against the Yankees. He said things are starting to slow down for him the more he plays.
“I’m not hearing the crowd as loud anymore, which caught me off-guard a lot and was focusing on the wrong things,” he said. “Just playing baseball.”
The stage is set Monday for Miguel Sano to go through a series of agility drills to make sure his left hamstring is completely healed so he can begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment. If he gets through the drills with no slip-ups — and doesn’t report any lingering issues a day later — he likely will leave for a rehab assignment by the end of the week.
Righthander Trevor May, recovering from a sore back, was supposed to throw in the bullpen Sunday but did so much work on mechanics Saturday that the club decided to push his session back to Tuesday.
Righthander Zack Jones, drafted by the Twins in 2012 but lost to Milwaukee in the Rule 5 draft last December, has been returned to the club.
Jones suffered a shoulder strain during spring training and landed on the 60-day disabled list. He recently completed a minor league rehab assignment and was activated from the DL. The Brewers decided to return Jones to the Twins rather than place him on the 40-man roster.
Jones, 25, has an upper-90s fastball but has had trouble throwing his breaking ball for strikes.