It wasn't that long ago that Jake Cave was a proud member of Red Sox Nation. But Tuesday afternoon, he officially became a New York Yankee.
Cave, who graduated from Kecoughtan in June, flew to Tampa Tuesday morning and went immediately to the Yankees' training facility.
"It was really cool," Cave said. "They had my locker all set up with my Yankee gear, my bats, cleats, shorts, bag. Then we just kind of waited around a while, and then I signed."
Cave's bonus was $75,000 more than what first-round pick Dante Bichette Jr. received. Cave said he was pleased with the deal but wants to put it in perspective.
"It is cool, and while it was going on it was really exciting," he said. "I'm happy about it, but now I'm just taking it as part of my job. I don't want to sit in rookie ball all my life. I want to keep doing good and moving up."
On Wednesday morning, Cave is to report to the Yankees' Gulf Coast League team in Tampa. He is expected to start off in center field, though he doesn't know if he'll play in Wednesday afternoon's game against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The GCL's regular season ends on Aug. 27. Once the playoffs are over, Cave will stick around for instructional training through September.
Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees' vice president of amateur scouting, said the organization was impressed by Cave's play with the Peninsula Pilots this summer. Cave led the Pilots with a .326 batting average and an on-base percentage of .423.
"He held his own really well," Oppenheimer said. "That helped us make a decision. We really liked what we saw. We like his bat, we like his energy, and we like the way he plays the game.
"He can hit, he can run, and he can play defense. We love the way he attacks the game with that style we covet. He has a confidence about him."
Cave was named Daily Press Player of the Year after hitting .594 last spring at Kecoughtan. He had 16 extra-base hits and an on-base percentage of .725.
Cave also went 6-3 as a left-handed pitcher with a 1.65 ERA. He struck out 101 batters in 55 innings.
Oppenheimer said he doesn't expect Cave to be tried out as a pitcher.
"We hope not," he said. "We want him as a position player."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun