Anfernee Grier might have caught a glimpse of his future Wednesday afternoon from a suite at Chase Field watching the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The organization announced it signed the former Auburn outfielder to a contract following the 3-2 loss less than a week after selecting Grier with the 39th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft.
"It was remarkable how he presented himself to the organization. He had a great workout," Arizona scouting director Deric Ladnier said. "We had a chance to watch him over the last few years perform, and his performance speaks for itself. The organization is certainly thankful to have him, and we certainly expect him to be a center fielder here for a long time."
Arizona forfeited its first round pick to the Los Angeles Dodgers for signing free agent Zack Grienke making Grier the team’s first overall selection in the 2016 draft.
Senior writer for MLB.com Jim Callis reported Grier’s signing bonus was worth $1.5 million. The slot value for the 39th pick was $1,658,600. Jake Woodford received a $1.8 million bonus from the St. Louis Cardinals as the 39th pick last year.
Grier didn’t get much time to celebrate the contract as the team had him joining the Hillsboro Hops, the Diamondbacks’ farm team in Oregon, for a practice Thursday. The Class A Northwest League team’s season starts on Friday.
"It's going by pretty fast, but I'm trying to enjoy every moment of it," Grier said to the Diamondbacks’ official website. "I haven't been saying much. I've just been trying to soak everything in."
As a junior, Grier batted .366 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs. Grier’s college career might be over, but the awards keep rolling in for the former Russell County standout.
The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and D1 Baseball named Grier a third-team All-American this week. He earned All-American honors from Baseball America earlier this month.
His father Antron Grier spent four years in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization after he was drafted in the sixth round of the 1987 draft.