ARLINGTON, Texas -- As soon as right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz graduates high school Saturday, he'll head to Arizona to begin his professional career as the Texas Rangers' first-round pick in 2014.
And he can't wait.
"I'm ready to leave home," said the 18-year-old Ortiz, who signed for $1.75 million Wednesday. That figure was about slot for his position in the draft, 30th overall. "I'm a grown man. I'm 18. I'm ready to start my professional career."
Ortiz is a confident young man, believing he can work his way up to the big leagues. He modeled himself after Felix Hernandez, teaching himself pitching mechanics in front of a mirror. The thing he's looking forward to most?
"Having a pitching coach," Ortiz said.
He says it with an assurance that he'll get even better as more coaches teach him. He'll start that process next week in Arizona.
"We'll see where it goes from there," assistant general manager A.J. Preller said. "He'll tell us how quickly he moves up."
Seven of the Rangers' first 10 picks have officially signed, including the first four.
Area scout Butch Metzger pushed for Ortiz's selection and was in attendance at the news conference, along with Ortiz's family.