Former Gilman slugger signs with the Chicago White Sox and former St. Joe pitcher will begin his career with the Houston Astros; Benitez also signs with Chisox

Among several local players selected in the Major League Draft earlier this month, the two picked the highest, Gavin Sheets and Peter Solomon have signed their first professional baseball contracts.

Sheets, a Gilman product who slugged 20 home runs as a junior at Wake Forest this spring, signed an over-slot deal reportedly worth $2 million, after being picked in the 2nd round by the Chicago White Sox with the 49th overall selection.

“I am unbelievably excited to start this journey with the Chicago White Sox,” said Sheets. “It’s a dream come true and I am thankful to the White Sox for giving me an opportunity to achieve my goal of playing professional baseball.”

Solomon’s deal with the Houston Astros is reported worth $450,000, after he was taken in the fourth round (121st overall) out of Notre Dame. He played his high school baseball at Mount St. Joseph, which has produced more major league players than any other school in the area over the last decade-plus.

“I could not be more excited to start my career with a great organization like the Astros,” said Solomon. “Playing in the Major Leagues has been dream since I was in Little League and getting the opportunity to pursue that dream now is unbelievable. From travel ball to St. Joe to Notre Dame, the dream has always been the same and I can’t wait to get started.”

Yet another local product who has an opportunity to realize his dreams is former Archbishop Spalding pitcher Joey Benitez, who also signed with the White Sox, after being picked in the 22nd round (657th overall).

“It is truly a dream come true,” said Benitez. “I’ve never been more excited in my life to be given an incredible opportunity. I am thankful for my friends, coaches, and family who believed in me along the way.”