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Cardinals Sign Charlie Tilson

JUPITER FL - FEBRUARY 16:  General Manager John Mozeliak (L) and owner William DeWitt Jr. of the St. Louis Cardinals speak at a press conference at Roger Dean Stadium on February 16 2011 in Jupiter Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
JUPITER FL - FEBRUARY 16: General Manager John Mozeliak (L) and owner William DeWitt Jr. of the St. Louis Cardinals speak at a press conference at Roger Dean Stadium on February 16 2011 in Jupiter Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
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With one of the larger signing bonuses we've seen thus far, the Cardinals have agreed to sign prep outfielder Charlie Tilson for $1.275 million, according to BA's Jim Callis.

Tilson, a center fielder out of Illinois, made big waves last year with a huge performance in the Area Code Games, leaving him permanently on the map of scouting directors across the country. St. Louis nabbed him in the second round with the 79th overall pick, and now they've added a potential impact player up the middle.

A plus runner with good bat speed, Tilson has the tools to be an impact defensive player in center field and a quality hitter at the top of the order. He didn't get as much hype as some other players due to playing in the cold weather of Illinois, where the season starts later and scouts get less live action, but ESPN's Keith Law was on him from the very beginning- Law ranked him No. 38 among all draft prospects for this year's class.

It's a major investment, but players with All-Star potential up the middle are rare, and Tilson undoubtedly has that. I'll certainly be rooting for him, considering we're now alumni of the same high school.