by Michal Hanus
The 16-year-old left-handed pitcher Stepan Havlicek, member of the Czech national junior team and student of Sport Grammar School in Brno, signed a six-year professional contract with the Major League club Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday in Blansko. Havlicek is the first player of Black Hill Blansko (till 2009 Extraleague team) to sign a pro contract and the fourth European player ever to sign with the Rays.
Havlicek is going to two months of spring training in the USA (March/April) and will spend a couple of weeks in a training camp in Australia during the summer months. He is expected to make his debut for a farm club of the Rays next season, since his first priority is to finish school in Brno, before moving to the USA permanently.
Name: Stepan Havlicek
Age: 16 years
Club: Black Hill Blansko
History with Czech National Teams: European Championship Cadets 1st (2007) and 3rd (2008), European Championship Juveniles 1st (2004)