BRADENTON -- The moment the Colorado Rockies used a draft pick on him earlier this month, Correlle Prime wanted to sign a contract.
He decided to take his time, however, to make the best possible decision.
Prime never changed his mind and on Wednesday the recent Manatee High graduate signed with the Rockies for a bonus of $190,000 that includes money for school. He
planned to leave this morning for Grand Junction, Colo., home to the Rockies' Rookie League affiliate in the Pioneer League.
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The season starts Monday.
"The opportunity was there, and it was a good opportunity," said Prime, an 11th-round pick. "It was never really about the money. It was a chance to get my career started as a professional baseball player, and not too many kids get that opportunity.
"My mom, she backed me 100 percent, and that made a difference."
Another area high school product, Cardinal Mooney's Sean McAdams, signed a pro contract Wednesday. McAdams didn't have to leave his hometown to do it, inking a deal with the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.
He also is slated to begin his career Monday, when the Orioles' Gulf Coast League team opens its season.
"It was a great feeling; great weight lifted off my shoulders, and I'm going to remember it for the rest of my life," McAdams, a 14th-round selection, told Sarasota television station WWSB-ABC 7.
Two other area draftees have signed with their respective times. IMG Academies graduate Alfredo Escalera-Maldonado, an eighth-round pick, signed with the Kansas City Royals, and former State College of Florida catcher Austin Chubb, a 21st-round selection, signed with the Washington Nationals.
Prime, along with fellow Hurricanes Chase Sandberg and twins Trevor and Tyler Beeman, signed with SCF prior to the start of the prep baseball season. Prime said Sandberg and the Beemans, as well as SCF baseball coach Tim Hill II, respected his decision to sign with the Rockies.
"Coach Hill said my area scout has to go out and find him another Correlle Prime," Prime said. "But he was just congratulating me and telling me if I ever needed anything, I'll always have a friend in him."
Prime pitched and played first base during a three-year stint at Manatee that included three trips to the regional playoffs, a pair of district titles and a berth in the 2011 Class 5A state final four. But the Rockies told Prime they plan on developing him as a first baseman.
And Prime planned ahead. Knowing he was going to sign Wednesday, Prime began packing his bags Tuesday night. He'll join the Grand Junction Rockies, who recently relocated from Casper, Wyo., and play in renovated Sam Suplizio Field, which seats 12,000.
The ballpark is just one of the reasons Prime is happy with his decision because he said he gave it the time and scrutiny it deserved.
"You always want to think about it and not just say something right on the spot," he said. "The opportunity was great that I had, and the organization is just great. It was basically a no-brainer."