Matt Purke signed with the Washington Nationals late Monday, effectively ending his brief career at TCU.
The left-handed pitcher who was selected as the 14th overall pick by the Rangers in the June 2009 draft, signed a major-league contract with the Nationals reportedly worth $4 million over four years.
After failing to sign with the Rangers after 2009 draft as a high-profile prospect from Klein High School, Purke attended TCU. He went 16-0 and led the Horned Frogs to their first College World Series in 2010, earning several national Freshman Pitcher of the Year awards.
"We are all so very excited for Matt," TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "Our goal when he came to school was to provide him a great experience, get to Omaha and win and make sure he left in at least as good of shape as he came. Those goals were accomplished and he signed for a great deal that is, generally, equal or greater than what his opportunity was out of high school. It's a great testament for the college choice for an elite prospect."
Purke, who threw 52 2/3 innings in 2010, did not pitch in the off-season before his sophomore year. He missed more than a week early during the 2011 season with a blister on his throwing hand, and while putting up solid numbers (5-1, 1.71 ERA in 11 starts), he was on a pitch count for much of the season. In April, Purke was sidelined with shoulder soreness and missed a month of action.
Horned Frog recruit Kevin Cron, selected by the Seattle Mariners in the third round, is headed to TCU. Cron was a standout prep first baseman/catcher at Arizona’s Mountain Pointe High School.
TCU Outfielder Jason Coats, a 12th-round selection by the Baltimore Orioles, will return for his senior year.
Several key members of TCU's CWS team who were drafted as underclassmen in June, have signed with teams this summer and will not return for their senior years. Junior pitcher Kyle Winkler, who won 27 games at TCU, signed last week with the Arizona Diamondbacks for $240,000. Another senior to be, Taylor Featherston, signed with the Rockies for $144,900. TCU seniors Jerome Pena (Orioles), Jimmie Pharr (Brewers), Joe Weik (Diamondbacks) and Erik Miller (signed with Reds for $100,000) have all signed minor league contracts.
Senior pitcher Steven Maxwell, who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 37th round, had not signed by press time Monday evening.
TCU recruits Kyle Crick, Cody Anderson and Tyler Collins all signed with their respective clubs and will not attend TCU.