Baseball dreams continue to come true for a Cedar Rapids native and Cedar Rapids Xavier alum.

Imagine being a senior in high school, and being good enough at the sport of baseball to be drafted by a MLB team. That is exactly what happened to Mitch Keller during his senior year at Cedar Rapids Xavier back in 2014. The high schooler was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2nd round of the 2014 MLB Draft. He signed with the Pirates later that summer and got a cool $1 million signing bonus. Happy graduation, kid.

Colorado Rockies v Pittsburgh Pirates
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Keller made his MLB debut in 2019. CBS2 reports that last year he was named the Pirates opening-day starter, and went on to compile a 13-9 record and strike out 210 batters. He even recorded his first career complete-game shutout against the Colorado Rockies. Keller has been named the opening day starter again in 2024 but got some even better news this week.

After his career season and All-Star honors, the Pirates have signed Keller to a five-year contract extension worth $77 million, according to CBS2. After 10 years in the majors, Keller has gotten his payday!

Keller and the Pirates open the MLB regular season on March 28th at the Miami Marlins. Pittsburgh's home opener will be on April 5th against the Baltimore Orioles.

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