SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 07: MLB commissioner Bud Selig speaks during the MLB First Year Player Draft on June 7, 2010 held in Studio 42 at the MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Cardinals finish off their minor league spending spree by signing second-round pick Charlie Tilson, a speedy center fielder, for $1.25 million.
The St. Louis Cardinals and second-round pick Charlie Tilson agreed to a contract just ahead of the final deadline for 2011 MLB Draft deals Monday, settling on a deal that, at $1.25 million, is worth just $50,000 less than the one the team gave first-rounder Kolten Wong. Tilson, a high school center fielder from the Chicago area who's got excellent speed and a solid line drive swing, went 79th overall and was considered among the toughest signs in the Cardinals' draft slate.
Tilson adds depth to a Cardinals outfield that was thinned out by the trade of Colby Rasmus at this year's Major League deadline and adds upside to a draft that was headed by Wong, a polished college infielder who, prior to a trip to the disabled list, was hitting .327/.386/.500 in full-season ball with the Quad Cities River Bandits.
With the minor league season nearly over Tilson will start his professional career with the complex-level Gulf Coast League Cardinals, the team's most remote stateside affiliate. 2010 first-rounder Zack Cox, another tough sign, had a similar stint with the GCL before entering full-season ball in 2011.