Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Reports: Hentges will sign with Indians
Mounds View, Minn. pitcher Sam Hentges has opted to sign a professional contract with the Cleveland Indians.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas pitcher signee Sam Hentges has agreed to terms on a professional contract with the Cleveland Indians, opting to forgo his collegiate career with the Razorbacks.
Hentges was drafted in the fourth round by the Indians earlier this month. According to Baseball America, the left-hander will receive a signing bonus of $700,000, which is $300,000 more than the value assigned for his slot by MLB.
The Mounds View, Minn., native agreed to terms shortly after leading his team to a second consecutive state championship game win at Target Field in Minneapolis. Hentges threw a complete game shutout, striking out eight batters.
Hentges is one of five Arkansas signees who were drafted this year, but is expected to be the only one who signs a professional contract. Two players - pitcher Keaton McKinney and catcher Nathan Rodriguez - have said they will play next season for the Razorbacks. Outfielder Luke Bonfield and infielder Blake Wiggins are also expected to arrive on campus in August.
Arkansas' signing class was ranked the ninth-best nationally by Perfect Game USA prior to the draft. The deadline to sign drafted players is July 18.
If Hentges is the only signee to opt for professional baseball this summer, it will be a stark contrast from recent drafts for Arkansas. The Razorbacks lost 13 signees to professional baseball from 2010-13.