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Nation, World Sports

Plum's Kirilloff settling in to new venture as baseball professional

Michael Love
| Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 2:45 p.m.
Plum's Alex Kirilloff gives a thumbs up after a double against Brashear on April 25, 2016.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Plum's Alex Kirilloff gives a thumbs up after a double against Brashear on April 25, 2016.

On June 9, Alex Kirilloff's life changed forever.

That evening, with family and friends by his side, Kirilloff was selected by the Minnesota Twins with the 15th overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft.

One week later, one journey came to an end as he and his Plum teammates capped their seasons in the PIAA Quad-A championship game.

A new journey started last Thursday. His pro career official began as he signed with the Twins.

The deal includes a bonus of $2.8 million,'s Jim Callis reported last week.

It originally was thought Kirilloff would be sent to the Twins affiliate in Ft. Myers, Fla., but the organization elevated him to the advanced rookie level at Elizabethton.

The team is located in Elizabethton, Tenn., and is a member of the Appalachian League. The Pirates advanced rookie team — the Bristol Pirates based in Bristol, Virginia — also plays in the Appalachian League.

Kirilloff arrived in Elizabethton last weekend in advance of his professional debut.

Elizabethton began its season last Thursday and was to complete its season-opening six-game road trip with a Tuesday doubleheader.

The games were to conclude past the deadline for this week's edition.

The Twins won their first four games, including a wild 13-12 victory Sunday over Johnson City, an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Elizabethton was scheduled to play its first home game Wednesday. Kirilloff had not seen any action through Sunday's victory.

Kirilloff batted .524 for Plum this spring, and he collected four home runs, 15 doubles and 29 RBI. He also was 6-1 as a pitcher.

He helped the Mustangs go 25-2 in 2016, earn a national ranking in USA Today and make the WPIAL and PIAA championship games.

Kirilloff was the first WPIAL player to be drafted in the first round out of high school since the Pirates picked Neil Walker 11th overall in 2004.

Walker, in his first season with the New York Mets, tweeted congratulations to Kirilloff the day after he was drafted.

“Congrats to a fellow WPIAL ball player, well done young man, just another step toward your dream! Go get 'em,” Walker tweeted.

Tribune-Review staff writer Doug Gulasy contributed to this report.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5825 or at

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