No deal was finalized until the eleventh hour, but first-round pick Walker Jenkins finally donned a Twins uniform at a news conference Tuesday ahead of the league's 4 p.m. signing deadline.

Jenkins, the No. 5 overall pick, signed for a $7.1442 million bonus. He was the last first-rounder to agree to a contract.

"It's really just been a lot of hanging around, working out and hitting baseballs," said the 18-year-old Jenkins, a 6-3, 212-pound outfielder out of South Brunswick High School in North Carolina.

Both Derek Falvey, the Twins' president of baseball operations, and Jenkins' agent, Scott Boras, insisted they weren't worried about completing a deal. The team announced the signing, which exhausted their draft bonus pool funds, about 90 minutes before the deadline.

Teams can exceed their draft bonus pools by 5%, if they choose to pay a 75% tax on the overage, without losing future draft picks. The Twins and the Rockies are the only teams who have never exceeded their bonus pools.

"We knew he wanted to be a Minnesota Twin," Falvey said, "and Scott relayed that."

After visiting Target Field — videoboards read "The Twins welcome Walker Jenkins and his family to Minnesota" — Jenkins will report to Fort Myers, Fla., and begin preparing to play in the rookie-level Florida Complex League.

Jenkins, a lefthanded hitter, stands out with his power through a compact swing. He's expected to begin his pro career as a center fielder.

He describes himself as the type of person who hates losing more than he likes winning. He still carries the disappointment when he was cut from a 13-year-old travel team.

"I want to be the best at anything and everything that I do," said Jenkins, who bypassed a commitment to the University of North Carolina. "That's obviously the main motivation along with winning, but then there's just little things along the way. Getting cut by different teams. Different aspects that lead to a chip on your shoulder that wants you to go out and do everything that people doubted [about] you."

Jenkins is rated as the No. 17 overall prospect in the sport by Baseball America. Falvey noted late Twins scouting legend Mike Radcliff watched him on Aug. 30, 2022, and he gave his highest recommendation.

Boras recalled one of his initial meetings with Jenkins and his family at their North Carolina home.

"I said, 'You know, we watch you play from a distance. I'd really like to see you hit,' " Boras said. "His eyes opened up and he said, 'No problem. Let's go do it.' Clay, his dad, goes, 'Let's go.' It was 11 o'clock at night. We went to the batting cage and for two hours they hit. We had a marvelous time if that tells you anything about the spirit of the Jenkins family, who Walker is and what his commitment to baseball is."

The Twins signed 19 of their 21 draft picks, with their last two picks as the exceptions. Jenkins highlights their draft class, a kid who maintained a friendship with Michael Cuddyer through the Team USA program, and he said he has video of Joe Mauer on his phone to study the way he hit.

"What we learned about you, and the way you go about the game of baseball," Falvey told Jenkins, "represents everything we want the Minnesota Twins to be."

Spring training schedule set

The Twins will have a 34-game spring training slate next year, including 18 games at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla.

They begin with a game against the Gophers on Feb. 23, with the first Grapefruit League game the following day against the visiting Pirates.

The final spring game is March 26 before the Twins start the regular season on Thursday, March 28 at Kansas City.

Saints trounce Toledo

Andrew Stevenson went 4-for-5, including a two-run homer, and scored four runs to lead the St. Paul Saints to a 14-7 win Tuesday night to open a six-game homestand against the Toledo Mud Hens at CHS Field. Anthony Prato also homered as part of a six-run seventh inning and went 3-for-5. Starter Louie Varland was roughed up for nine hits and six runs in 3 2/3 innings, but the bullpen only allowed two hits.


• When reliever Brock Stewart went on the 15-day injured list on June 27 with right elbow soreness, the hope was he would return shortly after the All-Star break. His absence, however, will extend into August. "Nothing has changed in terms of soreness or otherwise," Falvey said. "He's starting to get back to more aggressive throwing. I think his soreness persisted longer than we expected."