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Rays sign 72nd overall Draft pick Honeywell

Rays sign 72nd overall Draft pick Honeywell

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays signed right-handed pitcher Brent Honeywell, their third selection from the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, on Tuesday.

Tampa Bay drafted the 19-year-old Honeywell, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound screwballer out of Walters State Community College in Tennessee, with the 72nd overall pick, in Competitive Balance Round B. Honeywell went 11-3 with a 2.81 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings this season as a freshman at Walters State.

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Honeywell was at Tropicana Field on Tuesday for the game against the Orioles. He was on the field pregame, where Rays players and coaches introduced themselves to the club's latest signee.

"This is a dream come true. I can't wait," Honeywell said. "I'm just a ballplayer -- I'm ready to play, I'm ready to get out there and play. It's hard, man, it's hard to explain. It's just, I love it. I love the game."

Honeywell said he got his screwball, a rarity of a pitch, from his cousin, former Major League pitcher and screwballer Mike Marshall, who passed it on to his father, Brent, Sr.

"They turned it over to me four years ago, and it took me a couple of years to really master the pitch," Honeywell said. "It's a true screwball. It's not a gimmick pitch."

In addition to his screwball, Honeywell also throws a two-seam fastball, a changeup that he said feeds into the screwball, and a curveball that he called a work in progress.

Honeywell said he has been assigned to the Princeton Rays in West Virginia, one of Tampa Bay's Rookie affiliates, and that he is headed there on Thursday. Brent Honeywell, Sr. played for Princeton when he was in the Pirates' system and Princeton was a Pittsburgh affiliate.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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