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Inside the PD: Ex-Menchville ace Chrismon signs with Astros

Even before discussing contractual terms, Austin Chrismon was all but certain he would sign. And nothing the Houston Astros had to say Wednesday afternoon changed that.

Chrismon, who became the first baseball player from Christopher Newport University to be selected in the Major League Baseball draft, made it official by signing with the Astros at his home. Tim Bittner, an area scout for the Astros who is based in Richmond, was there representing the team.

“It’s more of a relief than anything,” Chrismon said. “It’s all kind of just hitting me. It’s a big wave at one time. I mean, one second I’m thinking about playing summer ball. The next, I’m home signing a professional contract. A life-changer for sure.”

Chrismon, a 26th-round pick, is to report to the Astros’ advanced rookie league affiliate in Greenville, Tenn., Sunday. The Astros’ first game is Thursday night.

Chrismon, who helped lead Menchville to the 2009 Group AAA championship, would not discuss the specifics of his contract but sounded pleased with it.

“I’d rather not say how much it was,” he said of the financial terms. “But it was definitely enough to not go back to school at this moment. Plus, they will be covering my last three semesters of school. It really was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Chrismon played two seasons at East Carolina before transferring to Christopher Newport. He went 7-4 with an ERA of 1.73. He was summer ball for the Strasburg Express in the Valley League before he was drafted.

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