Cardinals to sign Josh Wilson today

Josh Wilson will sign his first professional baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, today in his home in Tyler Texas.

Wilson, who was the St. Louis Cardinals #5 draft pick on Tuesday, will receive a signing bonus of $515,000.

Wilson, a right-handed pitcher, is expected to report to Johnson City, Tenn., where he will play for the Johnson City Cardinals in the Appalachian League of the Rookie League. His contract includes a $1,000 bonus if he is promoted from Class A to AA, and $5,000 if he moves up from AAA to the major leagues.

Wilson had originally signed with the University of Texas, but decided to forego college and go straight to the minors. He will go to school in the offseason, since the Cardinals have a scholarship program.

Wilson's fastball normally hovers between 92-95 mph. He also throws a knuckle-curve and a changeup.

Jeff Luhnow, the Cardinals VP of Player Development said "He's a power arm, but he's a young power arm, Luhnow said. "So that's the type of player that in the past, if we only had one pick, after taking Rasmus we probably would have gone safer with the next couple picks."

Wilson says the Cardinals will also pay for his college education. He is scheduled to report to rookie ball in Johnson City, Tennessee within the next week after attending a mini-camp in Florida.

"The Cardinals have a scholarship plan, so I'll go to school in the offseason," Wilson told the Tyler Morning Telegraph. "It is tough (to pass up Texas), knowing they're in the Super Regionals right now, and they'll have just as good a chance next year, and knowing I could be a part of it.

"But my whole life I've dreamed of being a professional baseball player, and now that I have the opportunity to take it, I've decided to do it."

EDITOR's NOTE: Jason Scott contributed to this report

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