Kailua native Kainoa “KJ” Harrison has turned professional.
The Punahou graduate signed a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday morning, after being selected in the third round of the Major League Baseball draft in June.
Harrison flew from Corvallis, Ore. to Milwaukee. Wis. to sign the deal, which will net him a $667,000 signing bonus.
He will forgo his senior year at Oregon State for what he calls a dream come true.
“It’s just crazy to me how something that you work for and, you know, it was my dream ever since I was young, and for that dream to come true and be fulfilled today and make it official, it’s unbelievable and it’s only the beginning. I’m very excited to get it going and start playing some pro ball,” he said.
Harrison was en route to Helena, Montana Wednesday, where he will begin his career with class rookie short-season Helena Brewers, most likely as a catcher.
“I caught in high school. That was my main position and you know, in college, I was able to play a secondary position and learn how to play first base, so to be able to balance between the two is great. I can’t wait to be back there again and start catching a lot more. It’s very exciting,” he said.
Harrison will join Saint Louis graduate Jordan Yamamoto and Waiakea alumni Kodi Medeiros and Quintin Torres-Costa in the Brew Crew system. All three pitchers play for the Class High-A Carolina Mudcats.