Left-hander Sean Newcomb, the first-round pick who signed with the Angels for $2.518 million Friday, will report to the team’s Arizona Summer League affiliate on Sunday with a tentative plan to join Class-A Burlington (Iowa) in the Midwest League by the end of August.
But the Angels are not expecting the former University of Hartford star, who went 8-2 with a 1.25 earned-run average and 106 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings this past season, to make more than eight or 10 starts.
“We’re not going to put white gloves on him, but these first few weeks, we just want to make sure he gets acclimated” to professional ball, said Ric Wilson, the team’s scouting director. “He’s thrown a lot of innings this year. We don’t want to tax him very much.”
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Newcomb, whose fastball sits in the 94-mph range and has touched 98 mph, was in Angel Stadium before Friday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners, meeting several players and coaches, but he did not throw in the bullpen.
“I’m excited to be here -- I’ve been throwing bullpens and long-tossing, and I’m ready to go,” Newcomb said. “The last seven weeks were a little stressful, but I had my people in place who were working hard to get deal done.”
Negotiations pushed up against Friday’s deadline for teams to sign picks from the June draft, but Wilson said he was always confident the Angels would come to terms with Newcomb, who, as part of his deal, will be invited to big league spring-training camp in 2015 and 2016.
“There was no doubt in my mind it would get done,” Wilson said. “It’s just part of the business side of it. There was a point where I felt we’d come to an agreement, just took time. His representatives did a nice job. Eventually, we came to a compromise we could both live with. It wasn’t a big rush for us because we didn’t expect him to pitch that much this season.”
Wilson said the Angels signed 35 of their 40 picks, but he did express some remorse over one player who got away, 14th-round pick Blaine Prescott, a second baseman from Midland (Texas) Junior College who did not sign.