the memories he gathered from what transpired only moments before in
that same living room.
The 2000 St. Francis High graduate and Gonzaga pitcher signed a
minor-league contract at 3:07 p.m. Saturday with the Minnesota Twins,
who selected the 20-year-old in the sixth round -- with the 178th
overall pick -- of the June 3 Major League Baseball first-year player
draft. He will report to the organization's rookie club in
Elizabethton, Tenn. -- which is approximately 300 miles from
Nashville -- as early as Tuesday following a mandatory physical
Although the terms of the contract were not disclosed by John
Leavitt -- the Twins' Southern California area scout, who drove from
Garden Grove to the Simonitsch's house to be on hand for the signing
-- Hertz did mention that the former News-Press All-Area first-team
selection received a substantial signing bonus.
And in addition to his monthly salary, Simonitsch -- a 6-foot-4,
225-pound left-hander who posted a 4-3 record with 58 strikeouts in
49 innings during his junior campaign at Gonzaga -- is also in line
to receive a number of incentives based on his progress in the club's
minor league system.
"It didn't really hit me until I was about to sign," said
Simonitsch, who was joined by his mom, Emily, and his brother, Evan,
among other friends and relatives at the signing.
"A lot of hard work has gone into this and I can't wait to get out
there. It's going to be an exciting experience and it's just a great
feeling to know that I'm finally a Minnesota Twin."
Simonitsch became the second of four Golden Knights selected in
the recent first-year player draft to sign a contract, following
former teammate Fernando Valenzuela, who is competing for the Eugene
Emeralds, the single-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.
"They say that good things happen to good people. Well, this is a
great thing happening to a great person," said Hertz, whose brother,
Steve, coached Simonitsch at Gonzaga.
"It doesn't matter how much you sign for, it's the team you sign
with and that's why Errol felt so comfortable with the Twins, because
they had a plan for him right away.